Study Finds Finds Dramatic Drop In Hospitalizations In Areas With Smoke-Free Areas

There is another study that offers strong support for the dangers of both smoking and second-hand smoke. The study at the University of California – San Francisco found a dramatic decline in hospitalizations in areas with laws banning smoking at work and public areas.

The study found fewer hospitalizations for heart attacks, strokes, asthma and other respiratory conditions.The research covered 33 different smoke-free-laws in cities and states as well as several countries like New Zealand and Germany. The study found a 24 percent drop in hospitalizations for respiratory diseases, including asthma and chronic obstruction. There was also a 16 percent drop in stroke hospitalizations and a 15 percent drop in heart attack admissions.

This would suggest a high savings in cost and illness with these laws. There is no reason why other citizens should have to bear these externalized costs. The study could also reinforce tort claims in terms of the harm caused by second-hand smoke.

Source: Eureka

65 thoughts on “Study Finds Finds Dramatic Drop In Hospitalizations In Areas With Smoke-Free Areas”

  1. To be clear, I was talking about the Houston Chronicle article you referenced, ARE.

    However, I do not think research into smoking that finds health negatives associated with are political other than they run counter to the very blatant and well known history of the tobacco industry promoting their product and suppressing anything critical of it and harmful to their bottom line all the while purchasing candidates like all other big industries do to help them sell their wares, stifle competition and bury their dirty laundry. Smoking is bad for you. Second hand smoke is more than likely not real good for you either, but so are a lot of things technological society brings to the table. How bad is the open question. End of scientific story. But scientific statements need to be valued in light of the scientific method first and political and/or economic interests secondarily if at all. Facts are facts, but very often facts are antithetical to political and/or economic desires.

    1. Gene H, I have no doubt that smoking is deleterious to ones health and that has been proven in good scientific studies. The fact that tobacco companies used skewed data and “studies” to counter that fact does NOT ipso facto make second hand smoke “studies” valid. The anti-second hand smoke faction has done the SAME kind of BS that tobacco companies did. It simply shows how PC can make fools out of otherwise rational people.

      The statement I referenced was the SAME as in the Houston Chronicle article with the exact wording. I was not aware of that source being the CDC, for which I can thank Elaine. Any “study” that can make such absurd, anti-scientific statements is on its face invalid and indicates it is just as much junk “science” as the tobacco ones on first hand smoke.

      The heart of science is doing experiments to make observations to test theories and quantify cause and effect. Others have given such experimental data studies, and I offered my own personal experimental observations and knowledge. All of which run counter to the hysteria of anti-smoker zealots. Thus most rational people will have to conclude that the CDC statements on SECOND hand smoke are BS, which is the point of THIS discussion, NOT whether or not smoking is bad over the long term. I would be willing to agree that for example in modern aircraft having a smoking section would not be a good idea since they currently recycle about 50% of the cabin air, as opposed to older aircraft which have NO recirculated air. The problem with such studies that were offered had no controls, nor levels of smoke, or doing anything other than making some correleations that may or may not be valid.

      I think that some studies have shown that having a dog is good for your health. So maybe we should give dog people a break on their health insurance rates since they are engaged in a healthy activity. As one can see from Prof. Turley’s post, he can anticipate a long and happy life with his Molley and any successors, much to our good fortune too. Of course, such studies do not find out just HOW MANY dogs are good, nor if having more than one or two has a result counter to the beneficial effects. For example, would having five dogs put one on the down side with increased stress and expense? Or would it result in even more satisfaction and longevity? Such studies would have to be done to get any meaningful data and there would have to be controls of people without dogs in similar economic status and place and age.

      I hope that at least we can agree that the CDC statement is BS and should NOT be taken as serious science.

  2. ARE,

    “So just because an eminent source says something does NOT make it true. You have to use your own head and simple logic and reasoning for somethings such as this.”

    Your simple logic and reasoning may be different from my simple logic and reasoning. Some choose to seek out eminent sources and research in order to learn about a subject like the negative effects of secondhand smoke. I provided links to four different reports/statements/articles. Have you determined–through simple logic and reasoning–that there is no correct factual information contained in them?

    1. Again you refuse to address the MAIN point I made about the FALSE statements the CDC made in their report. It makes NO scientific or logical sense and even Gene H agreed that the statement is pure BS, as do ALL thinking rational people.So given that FACT, you think that the reports are correct. You also refuse to address the FACTS that others have put forward showing the flaws in those studies.

      As one person has pointed out, correlation does NOT provide PROOF of causation. So given the political nature of the reports, they FAIL as legitimate studies. You also ignored the other studies that were linked showing the flaws in them as well. I also provided other examples of so called eminent authorities such as Teller who were WRONG on thier proposals.

  3. I see that 707 also refuses to answer the FACT that the CDC made a political statement about second hand smoke and NOT a scientific one with their absurd contention that there is NO risk free level of second hand smoke. Just because it is the CDC does NOT make it true, and if they continue making such statements and findings, they will become irrelevant scientifically.

    Refering to some past authority as an answer is NOT an answer at all. I am reminded of Reagan’s Star Wars that he promoted so much. it was the brain child of Dr. Teller who has wrongly been called the father of the H bomb. Using that authority, the US spent billions of dollars down the drain. I remember reading about the head of Star Wars going to Rice U and was trying to recruit the physicists to join in. Turns out they had done their homework better than Abramson had. They basically laughed him off the stage because he was so incompetent and had not done the basic math for the project. So just because an eminent source says something does NOT make it true. You have to use your own head and simple logic and reasoning for somethings such as this.

    Then there is the question of Gene H who agreed that the statement was ABSURD when I mentioned it, and questioned whether or not my report was right, but now it turns out it came from the CDC. So how about it Gene H, think it is still an absurd statement, or are you going to fold and retract your position on that statement?

    1. You are the prime example of the Col since you cannot or will not answer my point that the CDC made a scientifically and logically ABSURD statement is what YOU posted. I am sorry that you have neither the intellect or desire to respond rationally. At least the rest of the folks on this site will know what the truth is, even if you refuse to admit it. Once again, THANKS for proving my point.

  4. ARE,

    Your ranting against ElaineM is not only unpleasant but absrudly unscientific. She relies on the CDC. So do others and the world too.

    “Of course, one has to wonder why all smokers are not yet dead.”

    If you are not a complete fool, you can snswer that yourself.
    People have a multiple of factors regarding morbidity and mortality. Those for smoking and those which encourage cancer to take two smoking related examples.

    Judging the exposures to Second hand smoke is difficult to gauge, but they do give at least studies that point out it as a clear factor.

    And to return to your question, people die from other resonns too. And who knows what poison killed them, It might have been childhood abuse, alcohol, etc. But SHS has given its contribution.

    Just be content with a people who never start, and won’t.
    You will soon be regarded as the DoDo. funny, dumb and soon extinct. Good luck with that.

  5. Gary T,

    Your toxic level argument does not hold water.

    1) Studies on long term effects establishing toxic levels are not done on all 700 compounds.

    2) Studies on long level exposure to the mixture of toxic compounds are not done and can not be done on humans, as the study periods and controlling levels of exposure are impossible to meet.

    3) Animal models won’t do it either.

    A closed mind is impervioous, but unfortunately for you, my smoker friend, your lungs are not.

    I smoked for 35 and got a heart attack. I stopped and have not for 32 years. My coronary arteriss are as clean now as they were 10 yaars ago. Can you say that?

    Can you admit to smoking, reveal your consumption profile, your age; and I will predict your impending heart attack and your impending cancer. Gruesome.

    And these are the gruesome kind of games that corporations play with OUR lives for their profit.

  6. Amazing how the statistical studies radically change in results, depending on the current political and activist climate.

    Really. From 1995 to 2004, It goes from no correlation, to 600K dead from second hand smoke.

  7. Second-hand smoke kills 600,000 a year: WHO study
    By Kate Kelland
    LONDON | Fri Nov 26, 2010

    (Reuters) – Around one in a hundred deaths worldwide is due to passive smoking, which kills an estimated 600,000 people a year, World Health Organization (WHO) researchers said on Friday.

    In the first study to assess the global impact of second-hand smoke, WHO experts found that children are more heavily exposed to second-hand smoke than any other age-group, and around 165,000 of them a year die because of it.

    “Two-thirds of these deaths occur in Africa and south Asia,” the researchers, led by Annette Pruss-Ustun of the WHO in Geneva, wrote in their study.

    Children’s exposure to second-hand smoke is most likely to happen at home, and the double blow of infectious diseases and tobacco “seems to be a deadly combination for children in these regions,” they said.

    Commenting on the findings in the Lancet journal, Heather Wipfli and Jonathan Samet from the University of Southern California said policymakers try to motivate families to stop smoking in the home.

    “In some countries, smokefree homes are becoming the norm, but far from universally,” they wrote.

    The WHO researchers looked at data from 192 countries for their study. To get comprehensive data from all 192, they had to go back to 2004. They used mathematical modeling to estimate deaths and the number of years lost of life in good health.

  8. GaryT,

    I posted links to information on the negative effects of secondhand smoke provided by the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization. Can you post links to your studies so we can read them?

  9. In March of 1998, the World Health Organization’s lnternational Agency on Research on Cancer published a study that ran for 10 years, covering 7 Europe’an countries. The conclusion: no statistically significant risk for nonsmokers who lived or worked with smokers.

  10. The U.S. Department of Energy wired up bartenders and waiters
    working in smoke-filled bars and restaurants in16 cities, with a device that measured the amount of inhalation of secondhand smoke. Nothing like this
    had been done before; all other studies were statistical. The conclusion across the board: inhalation was so low as to render health hazards negligible to improbable. And yet, this breakthrough report was buried alive like all other challenges to the notion that secondhand smoke buries its victims.

  11. Tbe British Medical Journal (BMJ) published a study conducted by two world-class epidemiologists, James Enstrom and Geoffrey Kabat, that put to bed—-or should have– the idea that passive smoke kills.
    This study of 35,000 Califomians showed that lifelong
    exposure to a husband’s or wife’s smoke produced no increased risk of coronary heart disease or lung cancer among the people who
    never smoked. It’s one of the largest studies ever done, subjected to peer review and scrupulous editorial evaluation. And immediately condemned by the American Cancer Society, which, as it happened, had sponsored the original underlying survey and had, for many years, both funded and approved Enstrom’s work.

  12. There is a lower limit for all poisons, where the substance is not a poison.
    We take in (what would be) poisons all the time, it is just that the levels are low enough that normal biological processes clear it from our systems.

    SHS comes in such low concentrations, it is way below those limits.

  13. It stands to reason that people are healthier where the air they breathe is carrying fewer dangerous pollutants, so I don’t think the study’s conclusions are unexpected or bizarre. Therefore, even if they are not 100% free from any kind of scientific, statistical, or other kind of taint, I see nothing wrong in using those conclusions in a moderate and measured way to support policy until or unless they are disproven, weakened or changed by equally or more carefully designed and conducted studies, or if they fail to replicate over and over under controlled circumstances. It can’t hurt us NOT to breathe second-hand smoke, can it?

  14. From the World Health Organization:

    The danger of second-hand smoke

    Second-hand smoke is a mixture of the smoke from the burning tip of a cigarette and the smoke exhaled by a smoker. When second-hand smoke contaminates the air, especially in enclosed spaces, it is inhaled by everyone, exposing both smokers and non-smokers to its harmful effects. It causes lung cancer in non-smokers and increases the risk of coronary heart disease.

    Although the majority of smokers are men, many women and children are affected by their second-hand smoke. Worldwide, second-hand smoke causes an estimated 600 000 premature deaths a year, the majority (64%) among women. In the Eastern Mediterranean Region 38% of students aged 13–15 are exposed to second-hand smoke at home, and in many countries only around a quarter of homes are smoke-free. Only around 50% of schools ban the use of tobacco products by teachers.

    The harm to health from second-hand smoke

    There are over 4000 known chemicals in tobacco smoke, many of which are harmful, with at least 40 that cause cancer. It also includes large quantities of carbon monoxide, a gas that hinders the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to vital organs such as the heart and brain, and substances that contribute to heart disease and stroke. Exposure to second-hand smoke has both immediate and long term effects, including the following:

    Immediate effects include irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs, and sometimes headaches, nausea and dizziness. Exposure can also trigger asthma attacks.

    Long-term exposure to second-hand smoke causes lung cancer, coronary heart disease and cardiac death. Non-smokers who live with smokers are at increased risk of smoking-related illnesses. The risk of coronary heart disease is increased by 25%–30% and lung cancer by 20%–30%.

  15. From the American Cancer Society:

    Why is secondhand smoke a problem?
    Secondhand smoke causes cancer

    Secondhand smoke is classified as a “known human carcinogen” (cancer-causing agent) by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the US National Toxicology Program, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organization.

    Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemical compounds. More than 250 of these chemicals are known to be harmful, and at least 69 are known to cause cancer.

    SHS has been linked to lung cancer. There is also some evidence suggesting it may be linked with childhood leukemia and cancers of the larynx (voice box), pharynx (throat), brain, bladder, rectum, stomach, and breast.

    IARC reported in 2009 that parents who smoked before and during pregnancy were more likely to have a child with hepatoblastoma. This rare cancer is thought to start while the child is still in the uterus. Compared with non-smoking parents, the risk was about twice as high if only one parent smoked, but nearly 5 times higher when both parents smoked.


    Secondhand smoke causes other kinds of diseases and death

    Secondhand smoke can cause harm in many ways. Each year in the United States alone, it is responsible for:

    An estimated 46,000 deaths from heart disease in people who are current non-smokers

    About 3,400 lung cancer deaths in non-smoking adults
    Worse asthma and asthma-related problems in up to 1 million asthmatic children

    Between 150,000 and 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections (lung and bronchus) in children under 18 months of age, with 7,500 to 15,000 hospitalizations each year

    Children exposed to secondhand smoke are much more likely to be put into intensive care when they have the flu, they are in the hospital longer, and are more likely to need breathing tubes than kids who aren’t exposed to SHS

    In the United States, the costs of extra medical care, illness, and death caused by SHS are over $10 billion per year

  16. From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

    Health Effects of Secondhand Smoke



    Secondhand smoke is the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and the smoke breathed out by smokers. Secondhand smoke contains more than 7000 chemicals. Hundreds are toxic and about 70 can cause cancer.1,2

    There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke causes numerous health problems in infants and children, including severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).1 Some of the health conditions caused by secondhand smoke in adults include heart disease and lung cancer.1

    1. There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke

      Thank you Elaine M for showing us the scientific fraud that the CDC has promoted. As in my previous posts, there were some who doubted my statement that serious people could make such outlandish and unscientific statements. Thank you for providing me the evidence of such political fraud masquerading as science. Since there is NO level of safe exposure to second hand smoke you and the CDC have now discovered the MOST toxic substance known to man. Even strychnine and ricin have SAFE levels of exposure and those are potent poisons, BUT the CDC now has found a MORE toxic substance than those! Of course, one has to wonder why all smokers are not yet dead. I can certainly say that if smokers had taken those other poisons in such massive quantities smoking would not be a problem any more. Thank you again for proving the vacuousness of your arguments. Of course, you have never heard of the problem that correlation does NOT prove causation.

      When they allowed smoking on aircraft, I once heard some F/As complaining about the smoke in the back of the plane since their eyes were watering. I was puzzled since I could observer no smoke layer or concentration of smoke there. So I did a radical thing, and did an EXPERIMENT to test their complaints. I held my lit cigarette at seat level to see which way the smoke went. As I suspected the smoke went DOWN, NOT UP as would be expected on the ground. i knew that the air flow was downward and back in aircraft and that in the 727, the air is completely changed every three minutes. as air is taken in and expelled out the outflow valves. The reason for their tearing eyes is that the air inside that plane has a relative humdity of about 10% which is drier than the air in the desert.

      I also had to be astounded at the suit a Delta F/A filed because she got lung cancer and was a non-smoker. She said it was because of the smoke she was exposed to in flight. Of course, she had lots of other exposures which were MORE likely to cause cancer. She grew up in southern Utah which was exposed to massive amounts of radiation from nuclear testing. She also undoubtedly joined the other crew members in going to nightspots that DID have a lot of smoke and less air quality than the plane. Yet she won a settlement and I am sure that all of the other factors that caused her cancer were swept under the rug and ignored. Thus such “studies” are junk science since by their very nature they have no controls.

  17. Frankly sed:
    “Reading the apologists who still want to claim no harm from smoking 60 years after the first scientific results proving it”

    I do not claim that smoking causes no harm. It certainly does. What I say is that second hand smoke has no discernible negative health effects. And this finding is supported by the World Health Organization.

Comments are closed.