Health Highlights: Jan. 1, 2009

Before the ordinance took effect July 1, 2003, the study said, there were 399 hospital admissions for heart attacks in Pueblo in the 18 months before the law, compared to 237 heart attack hospitalizations from 18 months to three years after implementation, the CDC reported in its publication Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

"These findings provide support for considering smoke-free policies an important component of interventions to prevent heart disease morbidity and mortality," the report said.

The study also said evidence indicates that secondhand smoke exposure produces rapid adverse effects on heart function, blood, and vascular systems that boost the risk of a cardiac event. Eliminating smoking in indoor spaces is the only way to fully protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke exposure, the study concluded.

The findings echo previous analyses that found "secondhand smoke exposure decreases substantially among nonsmoking employees of restaurants and bars and among nonsmoking adults in the general public after implementation of smoke-free laws," the study said.

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