Ban on public smoking reduces admissions for asthma

November 1, 2010

Investigators in Scotland set out to determine whether that country's ban on smoking in public places, initiated in March 2006, influenced the rate of hospital admissions for childhood asthma.

Investigators in Scotland set out to determine whether that country's ban on smoking in public places, initiated in March 2006, influenced the rate of hospital admissions for childhood asthma. Using routine hospital administrative data, they identified countrywide hospital admissions for asthma among youngsters up to the age of 15 years from January 2000 through October 2009-well before and well after the ban.

Before the legislation was implemented, admissions for asthma were increasing at a mean rate of 5.2% a year (95% confidence interval [CI], 3.9-6.6). After implementation, the rate of such admissions fell a mean of 18.2% per year (95% CI, 14.7-21.8; P<.001). The reduction was apparent among both preschool and school-aged children and was not significantly affected by age, gender, urban or rural residence, region, or socioeconomic status (Mackay D, et al. N Engl J Med. 2010;363[12]:1139-1145).

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