Researchers from Montana and the University of San Francisco recently examined the impact of a short-lived Helena, Montana, 2002 smoking ban. Although the ban lasted only six months, reverberations from the smokeout were far-reaching.
While the ban was in place, heart-attack admissions among Helena residents at the region’s one hospital dropped by 60 percent, moving from an average of seven per month to a little more than three. No similar changes were reported in the surrounding communities.
Experts estimate that just 20 minutes of breathing smoke-filled air makes a nonsmoker’s blood platelets almost as “sticky” as the platelets of pack-a-day smokers. Such a condition makes the nonsmoker more likely to form clots that could cause a heart attack or stroke.
Tufts University, Health and Nutrition Letter
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