Reduced number of hospital admissions for childhood asthma after smoking ban

The number of children admitted to hospital with severe asthma has reduced after smoke-free legislation was introduced in England in 2007.
The research, published in the journal Paediatrics, analysed NHS figures back to April 2002 and showed a 12% drop in the first year after the law to stop smoking in enclosed public places came into force.

Before the ban, the number of children admitted to hospital with severe asthma attacks was rising by more than 2% a year. The researchers predicted that the next 12 months will see a further 12% drop and a further 3% in each of the following 2 years, equivalent to 6,800 over 3 years.

Critics of the smoking ban said smokers would respond by lighting up more at home, harming the health of their families. But the authors of this study say there is growing evidence that more people are insisting on smoke-free homes.

These findings reinforce evidence on the impact of smoke-free legislation from studies in North America and Scotland, which also showed a fall in hospital admissions for children with severe asthma attacks. The law in England has also resulted in fewer admissions for heart attack.

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