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Smoke ban good for health

10th September 2007

A new study says that the smoking ban in Scotland has made a "significant" difference to public health.

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A comparison of the data from nine hospitals has shown a 17% fall in heart attack admissions since the introduction of the new laws in March 2006.

The data incorporates "routine" health information and research by government scientists and Scottish universities. Over 2,000 primary school children, along with adults aged between 18 and 74-years-old from 74 postcodes, were involved in giving information to the study.

The study showed that both children and adults were now exposed less second-hand smoke - a reduction of 40%. Primary school children, when tested, had a 39% reduction in levels of a nicotine by-product.

Non-smoking adults who lived in non-smoking homes had nearly half the amount of cotinine (a metabolite of nicotine) in their systems since the ban.

The research will be shown to an international conference in Edinburgh, set up by the Scottish government.

Professor Jill Pell, who headed the research team which made the findings, said: "What we were able to show is that among people who are non-smokers there was a 20% reduction in heart attack admissions."

"This confirms that the legislation has been effective in helping non-smokers."

Professor Peter Donnelly, Scotland's deputy chief medical officer, said the study showed that the ban had made a positive impact on the quality of public health.


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