Smoking ban results in a fall in children’s asthma attacks

The results of a recent study were published in the journal ‘Paediatrics’ and have revealed that the number of children admitted to medical facilities and hospitals with asthmatic symptoms has dipped after the implementation of the ban on smoking in enclosed public areas. The law was in effect in July 2007, and fall of 12.3% was observed over the first year, after which the drop continued. Thus, the legislation has led to sustainable benefits.

One in 11 children are affected by asthma in UK, and hospitals had noted a recurring 2.2% growth in the number of children suffering from severe asthma attacks and admitted to hospitals. In 2006-07, the admissions reached the peak figure of 26,969. The implementation of the law immediately reversed the trend. The decrease in asthma admission cases was observed across several age and social groups of children.

Scotland and North America have already witnessed the effectiveness of anti smoking laws. The results in England include a decrease in the heart attack rate. The prime researcher, Dr Christopher Millett, from the Imperial College London’s School of Public Health, quoted, “With such a ban in place, the health benefits for the people in England are unquestioned. This study proves that asthma in children is also reduced as a result.”

Asthma UK’s policy and public affairs head, Emily Humphreys said, “The findings about the ban’s effectiveness are extremely satisfying. We campaigned for its implementation, and to note the decrease in childhood asthma cases is pleasing.”

She continued, “It is known that active and passive smoking contribute to triggering and catalysing asthmatic conditions, especially in children. Now that the results of reining in passive smoking, we need to focus on educating youngsters and children to complete avoid smoking. Plain packaging for tobacco is one of the endeavours in this direction.”