A smoking ban in one Colorado city led to a dramatic drop in heart attack hospitalizations, according to a new study that is considered the best and longest-term research to show such a link.
The rate of hospitalized cases dropped 41 percent three years after the ban of workplace smoking in Pueblo, Colo., took effect. There was no such drop in two neighboring areas, and researchers believe it's a clear sign the ban was responsible.
The study suggests that secondhand smoke may be a terrible and under-recognized cause of heart attack deaths in this country, said one of its authors, Terry Pechacek of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"This is now the ninth study, so it is clear that smoke-free laws are one of the most effective and cost-effective to reduce heart attacks," said Thun, who was not involved in the CDC study released Thursday.
Smoking bans are designed not only to cut smoking rates but also to reduce secondhand tobacco smoke. It is a widely recognized cause of lung cancer, but its effect on heart disease can be more immediate. It not only damages the lining of blood vessels, but also increases the kind of blood clotting that leads to heart attacks. Reducing exposure to smoke can quickly cut the risk of clotting, some experts said.
"You remove the final one or two links in the chain" of events leading to a heart attack, Thun said.
Secondhand smoke causes an estimated 46,000 heart disease deaths and about 3,000 lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers each year, according to statistics cited by the CDC.
In other news, Charles Barkley was arrested on suspicion of DUI
. No word yet on whether the arresting officer was racist, or if they just thought Barkley would be "a good fit" for the Scottsdale jail.
Drove to Dothan yesterday and got to see Lee, Nic, Fro, Fro's woman, Lisa (happy bday!), Mikelo, and Polly. I think I ate more sushi on this trip than at any other time in my life. Surprisingly, the Dothan roll was pretty darn good. Don't ask me what was in it. I didn't care for the Philidelphia roll, though, what with the cream cheese... ew. Mike and Polly's house is pretty neat, but Dothan traffic sucks.
I also got to significantly test out my new Garmin Nuvi 755T
. It's quite different from Candice's, which I used going to Knoxville and back a few months ago. But after fooling around with the Nuvi for a whole day, I think I like it a lot. The last things I need to really experiment with are "custom routes" and "lane assist."
As for the rest of my Christmas haul, it's mostly just Blu-ray movies and an amazon.com gift card, which I'm thinking of using as a down payment on Rock Band 2... Not sure yet. I also really want to get this Dave Matthews Blu-ray dvd
Speaking of DMB... they'll be at Oak Mountain in Bham on 4/20 next year. (It's a Monday night.) Tickets go on sale in mid-January. Lemme know if you're interested. We might have a good crowd going to this one.
I am only 5 for 18 in bowl picks so far. This is bad.