Cesaroni G, Forastiere F, Agabiti N, Valente P, Zuccaro P, Perucci CA
Several countries in the world have not yet prohibited smoking in public places. Few studies have been conducted on the effects of smoking bans on cardiac health. We evaluated changes in the frequency of acute coronary events in Rome, Italy, after the introduction of legislation that banned smoking in all indoor public places in January 2005.
METHODS AND RESULTS:
We analyzed acute coronary events (out-of-hospital deaths and hospital admissions) between 2000 and 2005 in city residents 35 to 84 years of age. We computed annual standardized rates and estimated rate ratios by comparing the data from prelegislation (2000-2004) and postlegislation (2005) periods. We took into account several time-related potential confounders, including particulate matter (PM10) air pollution, temperature, influenza epidemics, time trends, and total hospitalization rates. The reduction in acute coronary events was statistically significant in 35- to 64-year-olds (11.2%, 95% CI 6.9% to 15.3%) and in 65- to 74-year-olds (7.9%, 95% CI 3.4% to 12.2%) after the smoking ban. No evidence was found of an effect among the very elderly. The reduction tended to be greater in men and among lower socioeconomic groups.
We found a statistically significant reduction in acute coronary events in the adult population after the smoking ban. The size of the effect was consistent with the pollution reduction observed in indoor public places and with the known health effects of passive smoking. The results affirm that public interventions that prohibit smoking can have enormous public health implications.
Department of Epidemiology, Local Health Unit ASL RME, Via Santa Costanza 53, 00198 Rome, Italy.