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Public smoking bans linked to drop in premature births

A woman lights a cigarette outside a caf

(Reuters) - Banning smoking in public places has helped to cut premature births by 10 percent, according to new research from the United States and Europe.

A study in The Lancet medical journal found that while the impact of anti-smoking laws varies between countries, the overall effect on child health around the world is positive.

"Our research shows that smoking bans are an effective way to protect the health of our children," said Jasper Been of the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Population Health Sciences, who led the study.

He said the findings should help to accelerate the introduction of anti-smoking legislation in cities, countries and districts which have yet to do so.

Laws banning smoking in public places such as bars, restaurants, offices and other workplaces have already been proven in previous studies to protect adults from the health threats associated with passive smoking.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), tobacco already kills around 6 million people a year worldwide, including more than 600,000 non-smokers who die from exposure to second-hand smoke. By 2030, if current trends continue, it predicts tobacco's death toll could be 8 million people a year.

Only 16 percent of the world's population is covered by comprehensive smoke-free laws, and 40 percent children worldwide are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke, the WHO says.

Public health experts hope that as more and more countries in Europe and around the world adopt stricter legislation on smoking in public places, the health benefits will swiftly start to become evident.

Friday's research in The Lancet, which analyzed data on more than 2.5 million births and almost 250,000 hospital attendances for asthma attacks, was the first comprehensive study to look at how anti-smoking laws affect children's health.

With results from five North American studies of local bans and six European studies on national bans, it found rates of both pre-term births and hospital attendance for asthma fell by 10 percent within a year of smoke-free laws coming into effect.

"Together with the known health benefits in adults, our study provides clear evidence that smoking bans have considerable public health benefits for perinatal and child health," said Been.

He said it also provided "strong support for WHO recommendations to create smoke-free public environments on a national level."

(Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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Hi Allison March 29 2014 at 12:05 PM

yea good luck with that 1. if im outside n not next to anyone im gonna smoke

Flag Reply +2 rate up
kjasperkc March 29 2014 at 12:15 PM

Such junk! Lies and more lies. Disgusting.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
John Hinerman March 29 2014 at 12:22 PM

Maybe they stopped going to bars because they could not smoke there? SO less drinking might be the reason.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
ga7smi March 29 2014 at 10:52 AM

BS - and I don't smoke

Flag Reply +8 rate up
tdorsett7 March 29 2014 at 12:35 PM

Total BS

Flag Reply +6 rate up
Blodgesmudge March 29 2014 at 12:58 PM

They say if you're bisexual, you're confused. If you're gay, it's a sin. If your skinny, you're on drugs. If your fat you're selfish. If you dress up, you're conceited. If you dress down, you're a slob. If you speak your mind, you're rude, and if you don't, you're a wimp. If you have male friends, you're gay, if you have female friends, you're gay, too. You can't do anything without being labeled, and those doing the labeling are always worse than those who don't. Judging others is the way people can feel better about their miserable selves

Flag Reply +7 rate up
Kenny March 29 2014 at 1:37 PM

BS........ most of the bans have just started..............

Flag Reply +3 rate up
kohlbll March 29 2014 at 11:27 AM

and we still have more cancer and health issues as we did before the smoking bann

Flag Reply +6 rate up
1 reply
majesticdm kohlbll March 29 2014 at 11:34 AM

It's the food!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
Jacquie March 29 2014 at 2:04 PM

Can someone explain why many of the people that are for outlawing cigarette smoke, are for legalizing Marijuana ?...........Is Marijuana smoke better for your heath?

Flag Reply +14 rate up
2 replies
sindfetish Jacquie March 29 2014 at 2:46 PM

Yes. 40 years of research backs this up. It is not even in question anymore.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
2 replies
davfroplu sindfetish March 29 2014 at 2:56 PM

Your a Dumbass the tar and THC in marijuana is 10 times more harmfull.

Flag +7 rate up
Doug sindfetish March 29 2014 at 7:29 PM

40 years of research by pot smokers. You are a fool.

Flag +1 rate up
Ghetto Cat Jacquie March 29 2014 at 2:53 PM

Tabacco is a relaxant. It makes criminals look less suspicious. Marijuana is like the enemy of it.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
2 replies
ibeyour1 Ghetto Cat March 29 2014 at 3:14 PM

you're obviously loaded

Flag +1 rate up
donbanf Ghetto Cat March 29 2014 at 4:27 PM

Tabacco? Is that the red pepper sauce you put on stuff? Marijuana is not a relaxant?

Flag 0 rate up
ffishb March 29 2014 at 2:04 PM

My guess would be thier numbers are probab;y skewed. no doubt the bans have improved a lot of things, but so spit out that number so soon is pure speculation in my opinion

Flag Reply +7 rate up
1 reply
pangai ffishb March 29 2014 at 3:09 PM

Note that they did not study how much actual reduction of smoking occurred. Rather just that the Laws were in place. I am an anti-smoker but this is entirely politically and agenda oriented.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
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