This is the VOA Special English Health Report.
More than twenty of the fifty
American states ban smoking in public places. Many other states have partial
bans. And many local governments have their own restrictions.
new study has found the strongest evidence yet that smoke-free laws can reduce
a major effect of tobacco -- heart disease.
study took place in Pueblo, Colorado. In July of two thousand three that city banned
smoking in public places and workplaces.
In the year and a half before the ban, hospitals
had three hundred ninety-nine admissions for heart attacks. In a similar period
starting eighteen months after the ban, the number was two hundred
thirty-seven. That was a decrease of forty-one percent.
The study found that heart attack admissions have
continued to fall.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
published a report on the findings. C.D.C. official Janet Collins says
breathing secondhand smoke has immediate harmful effects on a person's
heart-and-lung system. Over the long term, secondhand smoke also raises the
risk of disease in nonsmokers. Each year in the United States, secondhand smoke
kills an estimated forty-six thousand nonsmokers from heart attacks.
researchers found no considerable change in the number of heart attacks in
areas near Pueblo without smoking bans. Doctor Terry Pechacek at the C.D.C. says
the findings should persuade every country that smoking in enclosed spaces is
very dangerous to nonsmokers.
Adults may think they are protecting
children from secondhand smoke when they smoke outside their home or only when
the children are not there. But now researchers led by Doctor Jonathan
Winickoff at MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston are warning about what
they call "third-hand smoke."
When you smoke, he says, dangerous matter from tobacco
smoke gets into your hair and clothing. Then, when you come into contact with a
baby, the baby comes into contact with those toxins.
The researchers did a study of adult beliefs
about the possibility of health risks to children from third-hand smoke. People
who agreed that environmental smoke was harmful to children's health were more
likely to have restrictions on smoking in their homes. The findings appear this
month in the journal Pediatrics.
that's the VOA Special English Health Report, written by Caty Weaver.
Transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our reports are at voaspecialenglish.com. I'm