Calgary heart attack rates plummetted after public smoking ban implemented
  • 19
  • 0

Calgary heart attack rates plummetted after public smoking ban implemented

The rate of cardiac arrests in Calgary fell suddenly and steeply following the introduction of public smoking bans a decade ago, states provincial health care data.

Emergency department visits due to heart attacks in Calgary went from 154.8 per 100,000 people in 2006 to 79 in 2007 - a whopping 49% decline in the span of a year.

That number then fell further to 44.4 by 2015, for a total decrease of 71% from nine years before.

On Jan. 1, 2007, a prohibition on smoking in public places went into effect in the city, replicated by a similar province-wide measure the following year.

In Calgary, the number of heart attacks per 100,000 people slipped from 222.3 in 2006 to 198.6 the following year, dropping further to 142.6 in 2015 for an eventual retreat of 36%.

In a statement, Alberta Health and Wellness noted the declines that are more pronounced in Calgary than province-wide, where the emergency room visits fell by 30% from 2007-2015.

"New cases of heart disease and rates of emergency department visits for heart attacks have decreased in this time period," it states.

But the ministry also said it's less clear what can be credited with those plunging numbers, that exercise and diet patterns might play a hand, as can a shrinking number of smokers.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, smoking rates in Alberta fell from 23% in 2003 to 18% in 2015.

"We cannot be sure whether decreases since 2008 are caused by the introduction of smoking bans in public places," they say.

But anti-smoking activist Les Hagen said there's little doubt the crackdown to reduce deadly second-hand smoke has played a role bigger than any other lifestyle changes.

"That's what we see after smoking bans," said Hagen, with the group Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).

"Tell me what big social change has happened in diet and exercise — there have been no meaningful improvements."

Health officials in the UK said they've experienced a 40% reduction in cardiac arrest rates in the years following a public smoking ban that took hold in 2007 — a trend duplicated repeatedly elsewhere, noted Hagen, who pointed to dozens of studies.

And he said the local bans have had a domino effect on other factors that further contribute to improving medical figures.

"In the three years following the Alberta smoking ban, we had three consecutive years of falling tobacco sales in Alberta," he said.

A series of tobacco tax increases in the province, coming in the wake of the smoking bans have complemented each other, he said.

"When you put those two together, you have an impact," said Hagen.

"This shows that concrete policies, rather than pamphlets, work."

In its annual reports, Alberta Health Services stated life expectancy among Albertans had climbed from 80.5 years in 2008 to 81.9 in 2015.

"Life expectancy has increased because tobacco use has gone down and we have had success in lowering heart and stroke rates," the AHS 2013-14 annual report states.

Smoking bans positively impact cancer rates but have a much quicker effect on heart attack numbers, said Rob Cunningham, senior policy analyst with the Canadian Cancer Society.

"The Alberta figures are consistent with studies in other places with immediate drops in heart attacks," said Cunningham.

"It's very encouraging — it just demonstrates how incredibly cost-effective and high-impact smoking policies can be."

source : Calgary SUN
See also:
Your comment
Secret code
angel smile sad wink tongue mib
lol confuse wonder weep fool devil
joy lover vomite girl flower good
heart tough flap perfidy reverie search
rtfm hat crazy ok pioneer tasty
angry love king shiner crazy2 cool
bpt buba lazy3 roulette scare2 snooks