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Smoke-free laws "cut" child asthma risk

Tuesday January 22nd, 2013

Smoke-free laws in England led to a dramatic reduction in children needing emergency treatment for asthma, researchers.

Over three years more than 6,800 hospital admissions of children with asthma may have been prevented, according to researchers at Imperial College, London.

The study, reported in Pediatrics, found a 12% fall in admissions in the 12 months following the implementation of the law in July 2007.

The law banned smoking in public gathering places, including pubs and places of work.

The researchers say admissions had been increasing at a rate of 2.2% a year before July 2007.

Researcher Dr Christopher Millett said: "There is already evidence that eliminating smoking from public places has resulted in substantial population health benefits in England, and this study shows that those benefits extend to reducing hospital admissions for childhood asthma.

"Previous studies have also suggested that the smoke-free law changed people's attitudes about exposing others to second-hand smoke and led more people to abstain from smoking voluntarily at home and in cars.

"We think that exposing children to less second-hand smoke in these settings probably played in important role in reducing asthma attacks."

C. Millett et al. Hospital Admissions for Childhood Asthma After Smoke-free Legislation in England. Pediatrics 2013;131:1-7 doi:10.1542/peds.2012-0001

Tags: Allergies & Asthma | Drug & Alcohol Abuse | Respiratory | UK News

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