Do Public Smoking Bans Affect Heart Disease?

Public smoking bans have been shown to have a major impact on the occurrence of heart disease. In Pueblo, Colorado, hospitalization for heart disease dropped over 40 percent just three years after a public smoking ban went into effect. Helena, Montana, saw similar effects after instituting a smoking ban in 2004. New research on the effects of cigarette smoke — including secondhand smoke — indicates that even a little bit of smoke can trigger a heart attack in someone whose arteries are already clogged.

More facts about the effects of smoking:

  • More than 7,000 chemicals go into the body with one puff of a cigarette, affecting every major organ.

  • About one in five adults in the United States smokes, and it is estimated that tens of millions of people are exposed to secondhand smoke every day.

  • Smoking bans are not a new thing, even though they have rapidly gained in popularity worldwide. In 1575, Mexican churches forbade the use of tobacco on church sites, and smoking has been banned from time to time in several cities. The first nationwide smoking ban took place in Germany in 1941 under the Nazi Party, and it lasted until the end of World War II.

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