Recently confirmed (according to a story in the New York Times): risk of heart attack decreases among non-smokers once smoking bans are in place-
The report, issued by the Institute of Medicine, concluded that exposure to secondhand smoke significantly increased the risk of a heart attack among both smokers and nonsmokers. The panel also said it found that a reduction in heart problems began fairly quickly after a smoking ban was instituted and that exposure to low or fleeting levels of secondhand smoke could cause cardiovascular problems.
“Even a small amount of exposure to secondhand smoke can increase blood clotting, constrict blood vessels and can cause a heart attack,” said Dr. Neal L. Benowitz, a professor of medicine, psychiatry and biopharmaceutical sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, and a member of the panel.
“Smoking bans need to be put in place as quickly as possible,” Dr. Benowitz added. “The longer we wait, the more disease we are accepting.”
In part because I lost both of my parents to smoking related diseases, I strongly support banning tobacco smoking in public places. Wisconsin recently passed a State-wide ban, but it doesn’t go into effect until July 2010. That’s not a day too soon for me. I’m really looking forward to being able to go out and enjoy some music in a local tavern without feeling the need to wear a gas mask.