Editorial: Smoking bans work

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  • Updated: November 12, 2012 - 11:42 PM

State-based study shows dramatic decrease in heart attacks.

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garagewineNov. 12, 12 6:48 PM

Was this a randomized controlled trial? If not, how was it done? No mention of this?

LandsharkNov. 12, 12 9:14 PM

The results are exactly what Dr. Hurt wanted to manipulate them to be. I believe him as much as the tobacco companies.

cosmic_jesusNov. 12, 12 9:23 PM

@garagewine. Methods for the study: "To evaluate the population impact of smokefree laws, we measured, through the Rochester Epidemiology Project, the incidence of MI and sudden cardiac death in Olmsted County during the 18-month period before and after implementation of each smoke-free ordinance. All MIs were continuously abstracted and validated, using rigorous standardized criteria relying on biomarkers, cardiac pain, and Minnesota coding of the electrocardiogram. Sudden cardiac death was defined as out-of-hospital deaths associated with coronary disease."

seliskerNov. 12, 12 9:43 PM

It's time for everyone who was against the smoking ban to come forward and admit that their moronic predictions that bars would close left and right were (of course) dead wrong. The ban was the right thing to do, and it has made going out a more pleasant and healthier experience. The smokers have simply gone outside to pollute themselves--and can you believe it?--everything worked out just fine.

supervon2Nov. 12, 1210:32 PM

The main reason for the drop in heart attacks was the Republicans keeping taxes from going through the roof and seniors could relax and enjoy life. Now with the Democrats back in office thousands of seniors are going to have the big one at tax time!

swmnguyNov. 13, 12 5:35 AM

I used to smoke a lot. I would go through over a pack a day sitting in my office working; even more when things were stressful. Then the indoor smoking ban took effect for smaller businesses in the early '90s. I thought it was the end of the world, for about a day. Then I had kids, and decided not to smoke in my own house. It was amazing. Not smoking indoors at all was fantastic. No more did I, my stuff, my clothes or car stink of stale smoke. Then I went to California on business and saw how nice it was in bars when all us smokers had to go outside to smoke.

Now I don't smoke at all, thank goodness. An extra $5 - $10 per day in my pocket is noticeable, as is my improved health. When I've traveled overseas, particularly in Asia, I'm momentarily shocked when I smell smoke indoors, and I find it almost allergenic.

We can make all the freedom arguments we want, but they're all wrong. Smoking is like lead in gasoline and paint, Jarts, cars without seat belts, or texting while driving. There's just no reasonable case for it, and sensible people should applaud the bans. If you can't accept the benefits, at least have the manners not to inflict it on others.

elind56Nov. 13, 12 7:49 AM

@swmnguy - AGREED! I'm hopeful that the democratic majority in the state legislature will address further expansion of the bans. Vehicles with children in them would be the next frontier followed shortly by ALL vehicles based on driving distraction. Only then can we begin the final assault on private homes. Start with multi-family dwellings, then all homes where children reside. Once these are in place, the final goal of banning smoking within any and all dwellings will finally be in sight.

blendedvegNov. 13, 12 8:04 AM

@Cosmic- That just shows that this study used "science," which we all know is proven to have a liberal bias.

julio57Nov. 13, 12 8:22 AM

They even admit a "Casual Relationship" between smoking bans and a reduction in coronary events. That is hardly conclusive evidence. Common sense tells us that there is obviously going to be reductions at some level because smoking bans do/will lower overall smoking, but I have a hard time believe 33%. I would like to here what the total number of heart attacks over the last 30 years has done. Especially in Olmsted County, which is home to the Mayo Clinic, IBM and other major compaines and thereby has a disproportionately high number of educated citizens, and we know that the level of education is strongly correllated to individual health. This study, like most others, focuses only on it's own data without even considering outside influences and changes in society in general.

swmnguyNov. 13, 12 8:32 AM

"elind56": That's pretty funny.

Well, I suppose we could leave it to the insurance companies to set rates based on relative risks. That might not please the smokers, nor the texting drivers. I imagine gun owners would be more pleased than those who have swimming pools.

When we balance rights and responsibilities; freedoms from and freedoms to; I don't think smoking comes out very well. My father used to smoke 3 packs a day, and he was one of the loudest critics of smoking bans and the nanny-state they imply. I'm not sure what he thinks about it now that he has COPD, and oxygen tank at night, and is well on the road to full-blown emphysema. I know we're all paying for his Medicare-provided treatment.

I would imagine if we repealed all the bans, a vast majority of businesses would keep things the way they are now, on the insistence of employees and customers. And insurers.


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