Smoking Ban = Drop In Heart Attacks?

With the start of the new year, the city of Portland launched a huge transformation.

At midnight on December 31, the smoking ban went into effect, making our “cancer caves” places that can now be visited without the requisite post-drink shower. Smelly hair and stinky clothes, begone!

But here’s the thing. As much as it might be a pain to stand outside in the cold and rain, one city in Colorado just proved that it makes a difference. According to this article, the rate of heart attack hospitalizations dropped 41 percent in the three years after the ban of workplace smoking in Pueblo, Colo., took effect. There was no such drop in two neighboring areas, and researchers believe it’s a clear sign the ban was responsible.

Here at the Red Cross we train people to save lives every day, most notably with our CPR and AED classes, emergency treatments for — you guessed it — heart attacks.

It’ll be interesting to see if the new smoking ban has any effect on the number of heart attacks happening in our community. Of course, it doesn’t impact the importance of getting trained — even if there are fewer heart attacks overall, you’ve still got to know how to respond when they happen!

Photo courtesy of AFP/File