Tobacco use is one of the chief preventable causes of death in the world and is a signifcant contributor to cardiovascular disease. "There is no safe exposure to passive smoking," said Professor Fox. "The only way for smokers to protect those around them is to stop smoking."
Smoking bans have significantly reduced pollution in public places and have led to a healthier population. Within a year of the 2004 ban in Ireland, there was an 83% reduction in indoor air pollution, an 80% drop in airborne carcinogens, and substantial respiratory health benefits for bar workers. Nearly a third fewer bar workers reported respiratory symptoms after the ban, investigators reported in the April 2007 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.1
Similarly, hospital admissions for acute heart attack in people under 60 fell by 11% in the Piedmont region of Italy in the five months after the introduction of a ban on smoking in indoor public places compared with admissions for the same period in the previous year, as reported in the October 2006 issue of the European Heart Journal.2
"Smoking bans work - they make everyone healthier," said Professor Fox. "We encourage everyone to participate in World No Tobacco Day."
The European Society of Cardiology (ESC):
The ESC represents nearly 53,000 cardiology professionals across Europe and the Mediterranean. Its mission is to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in Europe.
The ESC achieves this through a variety of scientific and educational activities including the coordination of: clinical practice guidelines, education courses and initiatives, pan-European surveys on specific disease areas and the ESC Annual Congress, the largest medical meeting in Europe. The ESC also works closely with the European Commission and WHO to improve health policy in the EU.
The ESC comprises 3 Councils, 5 Associations, 19 Working Groups, 50 National Cardiac Societies and an ESC Fellowship Community (Fellow, FESC; Nurse Fellow, NFESC). For more information on ESC Initiatives, Congresses and Constituent Bodies see www.escardio.org.
European Society of Cardiology, The European Heart House 2035 Route des Colles, B.P. 179 - Les Templiers, Sophia Antipolis F-06903 France
1 Effects of the Irish Smoking Ban on Respiratory Health of Bar Workers and Air Quality in Dublin Pubs American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine Vol 175. pp. 840-845, (2007). doi: 10.1164/rccm.200608-1085OC.
2 Short-term effects of Italian smoking regulation on rates of hospital admission for acute myocardial infarction. European Heart Journal (2006). doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehl201
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