Ever since the introduction of strong laws and regulations around tobacco smoking, researchers have been watching the evidence mount around public health in the aftermath of the changes.
In one of the most compelling studies yet, researchers have been able to show that non-smokers are enjoying huge benefits from the regulations outlawing indoor smoking in public areas all over the world.
According to one study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of people exposed to second-hand smoke dropped by half between 1999 and 2012. These numbers are significant, as we know that smoking doesn’t just kill the smokers themselves, but also those around them.
The latest study, published in early February in the Cochrane Library, suggests that of the 44 observed studies on cardiovascular disease, 33 of them showed a significant reduction in heart disease after public smoking bans were put in place. Researchers made a specific mention of the fact that the greatest drop in admissions from heart disease were in non-smokers.
The research was funded by the Health Research Board, and took into account 77 different studies from 21 countries. The subject area is a valid one, as the World Health Organisation currently estimates that 600,000 of the 6 million preventable smoking deaths are due to passive smoking.
Professor Cecily Kelleher was the review author of the study, and went on to say that the legislation put in place to ban public smoking does result in improved public health. Furthermore, “we now need research on the continued longer-term impact of smoking bans on the health outcomes of specific sub-groups of the population.”