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Tuesday 6th December 2016
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NHS Stop Smoking Services saves 70,000

22nd September 2009

New statistics have shown that "at least" 70,000 deaths have been prevented over the last decade by NHS Stop Smoking Services.

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Two more studies have reported that smoking bans in Europe and North America have decreased the amount of heart attacks by more than a third.

The Department of Health said recently that the number of attacks had gone down by 10% in the UK. However, the new studies - based on worldwide research - revealed that the reduction could be as high as 26% a year.

Dr James Lightwood of the University of California in San Fransisco headed the study, which examined 13 separate pieces of research.

The researchers found that heart attack rates began to decrease as soon as smoking bans were introduced in Europe and North America. They saw a 17% drop in the first year and a 36% fall by the third year of the ban.

Dr Lightwood said: "While we obviously won't bring heart attack rates to zero, these findings give us evidence that in the short-to-medium-term, smoking bans will prevent a lot of heart attacks."

NHS Stop Smoking Services celebrated their tenth birthday in September. The amount of smokers in the UK has fallen from 28% to less than 21%.

Gillian Merron, Minister for Public Health, said: "I am proud of the hard work behind every one of these 70,000 success stories. Every life saved represents a battle against an addiction – a triumph for the individual and their family."

 

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