The number of heart attacks has fallen dramatically since the smoking ban was introduced in 2007.
Whichever side of the fence you sit on with the smoking ban, you can’t deny that the impact on health has been good.
According to new figures published in the British Medical Journal, around 1,200 heart attacks were prevented in England in the year following the smoking ban.
Researchers at the University of Bath found that hospital admissions for heart attacks fell by around 2.4% across the country.
Smoking increases the risk of heart attacks by making the blood more prone to clotting, reducing the levels of ‘good’ cholesterol and raising the risk of dangerous heart rhythms.
The cut in admissions is thought to have saved around 200 lives, and approximately £8.4 million in NHS costs.
Deborah Arnott, of the charity Action on Smoking and Health, said long-term improvements in cancer can be expected.
‘It’s brilliant news that an average three fewer people a day are admitted to hospital suffering a heart attack’ says Betty McBride, of the British Heart Foundation.
‘Government should see this as a green light for further life-saving measures, going beyond the forthcoming ban on cigarette vending machines, to crack down on illegal tobacco smuggling and introducing plain packaging on cigarette boxes,’ she says.
Other improvements from the smoking ban include reduced exposure to second hand smoke for non-smokers and children, as well as significant reduction in the amount that people are smoking.
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