According to a new study, few older adults suffer from heart attacks in Scotland thanks to a nationwide indoor smoking ban that took effect 13 years ago.
How did this indoor smoking ban take effect?
In 2006, smoking in all enclosed workplaces and public spaces was banned in Scotland. Thanks to this initiative, the heart attacks rate decreased by 17% one year after this decision.
In England, when this was not implemented, the study team notes that the decline was only 4%. Imagine how more that would have changed if a ban had been introduced. Only 117,161 heart attacks were in Scotland in a period of 16 years, between 2000 and 2016.
Indoor smoking ban reduced heart attacks incidence
Over the study period, the smoking ban helped reduce the heart attack rate by 13% in women and men aged 60 and older. However, the rate for the same disease did not change in younger people. How come this is happening? The director of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow in the UK and co-author of the study, Dr. Jill Pell, comes with an answer.
He says that heart attacks tend to occur later in someone’s life, and an individual usually takes up smoking a long period before that, in their youth. With that being said, it takes a while until the result can be seen in younger people, as well as any movement that tries discouraging people from starting to smoke.
Life before the indoor smoking ban
The number of people suffering from heart attacks was decreasing in Scotland even before the smoking ban entered into effect, according to the study team’s notes released in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. However, they conclude that the indoor smoking ban helped to reduce the risk more and faster.
Benjamin Diaz started working for Debate Report in 2017. Ben grew up in a small town in northern Ontario. He studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married his wife a year later. Benhas been a proud Torontonian for the past 10 years. He covers politics and the economy. Previously he wrote for CTV News and the Huffington Post Canada.