MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Kate Frazer
University College Dublin
School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems
Dublin , Ireland
MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Frazer: The review is an update of a 2010 Cochrane systematic review publication ‘Legislative smoking bans for reducing secondhand smoke exposure, smoking prevalence and tobacco consumption’.
The 2010 review identified
- Evidence of secondhand smoke exposure and reduced cotinine levels after the implementation of legislative smoking bans.
- Evidence of reduced admissions for acute coronary syndrome.
- Limited evidence of an impact on active smoking rates.
The update was undertaken because more countries have since implemented legislative smoking bans since the review was published in 2010 and the body of research was growing in the intervening period.
The new review, published 4th February 2016, presents evidence from 77 observational studies in 21 countries.
MedicalResearch: What are the main findings?
Dr. Frazer: There is consistent evidence identifying reduced admissions in the post ban period for acute coronary syndrome/ acute myocardial infarction in 33 of 43 studies.
There is evidence of reduced mortality from smoking related illnesses in 8 out of 11 studies.
There is evidence of reduced admissions for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, but the evidence of reduced admissions was not consistent in all studies.
There is evidence of an impact on perinatal health outcomes including low birth weight and risk of pre term birth, but the evidence was not consistent in all studies.
The evidence of an impact of legislative smoking bans on active smoking and tobacco consumption is not consistent. There have been reductions in smoking rates.
The impact of the ban on reducing admissions was observed in smokers and in non-smokers.
MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Frazer: The introduction of a legislative smoking ban leads to improved health outcomes through a reduction in secondhand smoke exposure for countries and their populations.
MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Frazer: Additional research with longer follow up periods after bans have been implemented is required for specific groups including children and disadvantaged or minority groups.
Finally, systematic reporting of key indicators (including smoking status) would allow for quantifying of effect.
MedicalResearch: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Dr. Frazer: There is no safe level of passive smoke exposure. This review clearly identifies evidence of improved health outcomes following the introduction of legislative smoking bans.
Dr. Kate Frazer (2016). There is No Safe Level of Passive Smoking Exposure