Smoking Ban Leads To Decrease in Heart Attacks

By: Danielle Saar Email
By: Danielle Saar Email

The Centers for Disease Control released a study-- the longest of it's kind--showing that the number of heart attack cases dropped in the three years following the Pueblo's smoking ban.

Dr. Chris Nevin-Woods is one of the community researchers who put this study together.

Nevin-Woods says this may be a sign of just how serious a health risk secondhand smoke really is.

July 1st 2003 was when Pueblo said "no more" to smoking indoors.

"It was all public places, including buildings, restaurants, bowling alleys, bars," says Nevin-Woods.

The ordinance caused smokers to ban together and sign petitions, to reverse the smoking ban.

"Even though this ordinance was controversial in the beginning, it is very popular now, and it has had a significant effect on the health in Pueblo."

The biggest effect, Nevin-Woods says, heart attack rates in Pueblo have gone down more than 40 percent.

"We have literally saved hundreds of people from having heart attacks by having the community and community leaders pass this strict ordinance."

But critics of this study say its unclear if the smoking ban was the exact cause of Pueblo's heart attack decline.

Dr. Nevin-Woods says there are a number of factors that lead to the decrease in heart attack rates.

"More people quit smoking, people are definitely not exposed to secondhand smoke, people realize that this is dangerous and they stop smoking in homes and exposing their families and children to second hand smoke."

The C.D.C. says they have studied neighboring areas to Pueblo without smoking bans and they haven't seen those same health benefits, which is another clear sign for researchers that the ban is responsible for the decrease in heart attacks.

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