Thursday, February 21, 2013

Smoke Free Laws Reduce Hospitalizations & Deaths

In a recent meta-analysis, Tan and Glanz compared rates of hospitalization and death due to cardiovascular disease, stroke and respiratory across communities with different levels of smoke-free laws (Tan, C. E., & Glantz, S. A. (2012). Association between smoke-free legislation and hospitalizations for cardiac, cerebrovascular, and respiratory diseases. Circulation126(18), 2177-2183.) They combined the results of 43 studies that examined rates a median of 30 months before enactment of the laws and then compared them to rates over a median of 24 months after enactment. The results are shown in the graph below. Relative risk refers to the likelihood of an event. A RR < 1 indicates that an event is less likely compared to baseline (before enactment.) As is evident from the graph, there is a consistent and significant reduction in hospitalization and death rates for these diseases as a result of smoke free laws, and the more extensive the restrictions (restaurants and bars as well as other workplaces) the larger the effect. 

Source: BASIS, Feb 2013

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