Skip 
Navigation Link

1215 South Walnut Ave.
Demopolis, AL 36732 map map 

Access to Care: 334.289.2410

Health Policy & Advocacy
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
Could the U.S. Mail Deliver Better Colon Cancer Screening Rates?Opioid Rxs Decreasing, But Not for All DoctorsAfter Chinese Infant Gene-Editing Scandal, U.S. Health Officials Join Call for a BanAre 'Inactive' Ingredients in Your Drugs Really So Harmless?Need to Be Vaccinated? Try Your Local PharmacyBystanders Key to Cutting Cardiac Arrest DeathsMany Black Americans Live in Trauma Care 'Deserts'FDA Issues Asbestos Warning About Some Claire's Cosmetic ProductsFDA to Crack Down on Retailers That Keep Selling Tobacco to KidsBlood Donation by Teen Girls May Raise Anemia RiskNurses' Long Hours, Moonlighting Could Pose Patient Safety RiskBerkeley's Efforts Suggest Soda Taxes Do Cut Soda SalesOpioid Overdose Deaths Quadruple, Centered in 8 StatesPayments for Research Can Lead to Lies: StudyFDA Aims to Strengthen Sunscreen RulesAre Primary Care Doctors Prepared to Discuss Cancer Treatment?FDA Fell Short in Preventing Fentanyl Abuse Crisis, Report ClaimsPrimary Care Doctors Help Boost Life Spans, But More Are NeededMore Car Crashes Tied to Drivers High on OpioidsPoor Whites Bear the Brunt of U.S. Opioid Crisis, Studies FindFDA to Tighten Oversight of SupplementsAs U.S. Measles Outbreaks Spread, Why Does 'Anti-Vax' Movement Persist?Even Brief EMS Delay Can Cost Lives After Car CrashHealth Tip: Know Your Family's Medical HistoryPatients With Primary Care Docs May Get Better Health CareBlood Donors Needed as Cold Weather Freezes U.S. SupplyAHA: Medical Experts 'Sound the Alarm' on Medical MisinformationWhite House Plan to Disclose Drug Prices May Not Drive Down Costs: StudyCan Artificial Intelligence Read X-Rays?Virtual Doctor Visits Get High Marks in New SurveyBig Pharma's Marketing to Docs Helped Trigger Opioid Crisis: StudyDisrupted Sleep Plagues Hospital Patients, But New Program Might HelpOpioid Prescriptions Almost Twice as Likely for Rural vs. Urban AmericansClimate Change Already Hurting Human Health, Review ShowsCalling All Blood Donors …Even Older Drugs Are Getting Steep Price Hikes, Study FindsAs Medical Marketing Soars, Is Regulation Needed?Radiation Doses From CT Scans Vary WidelyU.S. Leads Health Care Spending Among Richer Nations, But Gets LessIs Your State a Hotspot for Obesity-Linked Cancers?Health Tip: Choose the Right DoctorFDA Warns Companies on Dangerous, Unapproved Stem Cell TreatmentsMore U.S. Kids Dying From Guns, Car AccidentsRoad Rules on Smartphone Use Are Saving Bikers' Lives, TooAHA: Should Pacemakers, Defibrillators Be Recycled -- and Reused in Others?California Farm Tied to E. coli Outbreak Expands Recall Beyond Romaine LettuceHealth Tip: Use Medical Devices SafelyCalifornia Farm Implicated in Outbreak of E. coli Tied to Romaine LettuceFentanyl Now the No. 1 Opioid OD KillerHospitalizations Rising Among the Homeless
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Health Insurance
Healthcare

AHA: Smoke-Free Laws Do Seem to Help Young Adults' Hearts


HealthDay News
Updated: May 7th 2018

new article illustration

MONDAY, May 7, 2018 (American Heart Association) -- Laws and policies that prohibit smoking in workplaces and other public areas appeared to significantly lower the risk of cardiovascular disease among a group of young adults who were followed over a 20-year span.

The study findings are consistent with previous studies that found health benefits as a result of smoke-free policies, including lower risks of heart- and lung-related illnesses and diseases.

But the new research, published May 7 in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, is believed to be the first to follow -- and capture specific details about -- thousands of young adults over a period of several decades.

The study's researchers relied on the extensive records initially collected in a 1985 study that followed thousands of young adults around the country. The report drilled down on findings from the last 20 years of the study, featuring 3,783 individuals.

"Our results suggest that smoke-free policies in workplaces in particular may be a promising approach to preventing premature cardiovascular disease," said the report's lead author, Dr. Stephanie Mayne, a postdoctoral research fellow at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Smoke-free policies in restaurants and bars were associated with about a 25 percent lower risk of a cardiovascular incident, such as a heart attack or stroke, according to the study. Such policies in workplaces were linked to a 46 percent lower risk.

Currently, 25 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have passed laws that prohibit smoking in all restaurants, bars and other workplaces that aren't part of the hospitality industry. Collectively, those laws along with local policies passed in other states protect roughly 59 percent of the U.S population, according to data cited in the report.

"The evidence is pretty strong that smoke-free policies have important health impacts in terms of protecting the population from adverse consequences of tobacco smoke, but a large part of the U.S. population still isn't covered currently by smoke-free policies," Mayne said.

The study adjusted results based on numerous characteristics provided by the participants, including income level and education attainment, along with the cigarette tax rates for their local community. The study also accounted for medical factors such as body mass index and whether the participants smoked -- about a quarter of them did -- or had diabetes, high blood pressure or other health problems.

When the study first began, participants lived in four cities Birmingham, Alabama; Chicago; Minneapolis; and Oakland, Calif. By the time researchers contacted the group 10 years later, individuals had scattered among 47 states.

Dr. Glenn Hirsch, a cardiologist not connected to the study, described the report as "very robust." He particularly noted the ability by researchers to adjust for specific details about its participants, particularly those who ended up experiencing some type of cardiovascular event.

"It was a vigorous capture of all the information about these people, drilling down on what caused their event or what was a contributor to it," said Hirsch, clinical director of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Louisville.

Hirsch said the magnitude of the effects of this study was greater than other studies that examined the link between smoke-free policies and heart disease likely because of the age of its participants.

"The older that people are, the higher their risk of having a cardiovascular event. But in young people, it's the smoking that's contributing to them having events. It's not 20 or 30 years of exposure to hypertension or diabetes -- they haven't had that yet," he said.

Smoking can lead someone to have a heart attack or some other cardiovascular consequence many years earlier than normal, he said.

Hirsch also pointed out that the heart's reaction to smoking differs from illnesses like cancer and lung disease, which he said have a "dose response."

"In other words, the more you smoke, the more your risk of having lung disease or cancer," he said.

It's not that way with cardiovascular disease, where even one cigarette a day carries an extremely high risk of experiencing a cardiovascular event such as a heart attack. But studies have shown the risk of heart disease can drop dramatically in smokers once they stop. Within five years of quitting, the cardiovascular event risk plunges to the level of a nonsmoker, Hirsch said.

"These are young people," he said of the study's participants. "And if it weren't for the smoking and the exposure to the secondhand smoke, it's most likely the majority of them would not have had an event at all during this time."