Smoke-free legislation and hospitalizations for childhood asthma

January 01, 0001

Smoke-free legislation and hospitalizations for childhood asthma

Previous studies have shown that after the adoption of comprehensive smoke-free legislation, there is a reduction in respiratory symptoms among workers in bars. The aim of this study by UK authors was to determine whether the ban on smoking in public places in Scotland, which was initiated in March 2006, influenced the rate of hospital admissions for childhood asthma. Routine hospital dministrative data were used to identify all hospital admissions for asthma in Scotland from January 2000 through October 2009 among children younger than 15 years of age. A negative binomial regression model was fitted, with adjustment for age group, sex, quintile of socioeconomic status, urban or rural residence, month, and year. Tests for interactions were also performed.

They found: "Before the legislation was implemented, admissions for asthma were increasing at a mean rate of 5.2% per year. After implementation of the legislation, there was a mean reduction in the rate of admissions of 18.2% per year relative to the rate on March 26, 2006. The reduction was apparent among both preschool and school-age children. There were no significant interactions between hospital admissions for asthma and age group, sex, urban or rural residence, region, or quintile of socioeconomic status."

The authors concluded: "In Scotland, passage of smoke-free legislation in 2006 was associated with a subsequent reduction in the rate of respiratory disease in populations other than those with occupational exposure to environmental tobacco smoke."

Further evidence of the benefits of smoke-free legislation.

For the full abstract, click here.

N Engl J Med 363:1139-1145, 16 September 2010
© 2010 to the Massachusetts Medical Society
Smoke-free Legislation and Hospitalizations for Childhood Asthma. Daniel Mackay, Sally Haw, Jon G. Ayres, Colin Fischbacher, and Jill P. Pell. Correspondence to Dr. Pell: [email protected]

Category: R. Respiratory. Keywords: tobacco, smoke-free legislation, childhood asthma, hospitalizations, retrospective observational study, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Linda French, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 5 October 2010

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