May 25, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Heart attacks remain down by 17% four 4 years after Uruguay went smokefree: Smokefree laws save lives and reduce medical costs

Our new paper, "Hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction before and after implementation of a comprehensive smoke-free policy in Uruguay: experience through 2010," just published in Tobacco Control, provides the longest follow up yet -- 4 years -- assessing the effects of enacting a strong smokefree law on hospital admissions for heart attacks (acute myocardial infarctions).  Consistent with our meta-analysis of 43 studies of the effect of smokefree laws on heart attacks, strokes, asthma attacks, and other lung problems, implementation of Uruguay's law was followed by 17% a drop in hospital admissions for heart attacks. 

The reduction was maintained over the following 4 years, adding to the evidence that the health improvements following enactment of strong clean indoor air laws, adding to the already strong case that tobacco control is a key component of short and long term medical care cost containment.

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