Sunday, April 6, 2014

Benefits of Smoking Bans

News Brief by Lushna Mehra

Studies in North America and Europe have related public smoking bans to decreased numbers of preterm births and hospital visits due to asthma. Specifically, 11 studies in these two continents have concluded that there has been a ten percent decrease in birth and asthma problems within a year of such bans. However, these smoking bans only apply to 16 percent of the world’s population. A shocking one fourth of deaths due to second-hand smoke occur in children because 40 percent of children are consistently exposed to second-hand smoke. 

Dr. Been from Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands believes there is enough evidence from his research results to say that smoking bans, which act in accordance with WHO recommendations, advantageously affect health in terms of birth and child development. And Professor Sheikh of Brigham and Women’s Hospital agrees that there are copious potential benefits to be reaped from countries that now choose to ban smoking. Moreover, University of California San Francisco’s Kalkhoran and Glantz mentioned that a simple ten percent decrease in hospitalizations for asthma would greatly decrease medical expenses, which were greater than $50 billion in the USA during 2007 and more than $20 billon in Europe during 2006. Though cigarette companies promote their products by claiming that it aids the economy by helping restaurants, bars, and casinos, the economic benefits because of smoke bans will serve as a greater advantage by significantly increasing medical savings through decreased costs. Thus, the implementation of smoke bans would aid general health as well as boost the economy with its substantial and rapid affects.

The Lancet. "Public smoking bans linked with rapid fall in preterm births, child hospital visits for asthma." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 March 2014. .
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