Smok­ing bans’ pos­i­tive im­pact on child health backed by study

Irish Independent - Health & Living - - UPDATE -

CHILD­HOOD chest in­fec­tions need­ing hos­pi­tal care may have dropped by as much as 20pc since anti-smok­ing laws were in­tro­duced, re­search sug­gests.

Com­bined data was used from 41 stud­ies from North Amer­ica, Europe — in­clud­ing Ire­land — and China where to­bacco con­trol poli­cies have been in­tro­duced.

The find­ings add to pre­vi­ous ev­i­dence that to­bacco con­trol poli­cies are as­so­ci­ated with re­duc­tions in hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions for asthma at­tacks among chil­dren and have also helped to cut rates of pre­ma­ture births.

Ex­perts say the lat­est study — which in­cludes data from more than 57 mil­lion births and 2.7 mil­lion hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions of­fers the most com­plete anal­y­sis so far of the pos­i­tive im­pact that to­bacco con­trol poli­cies are hav­ing on chil­dren’s health world­wide. Re­searchers led by the Univer­sity of Ed­in­burgh said figures sug­gest that rates of chil­dren need­ing hos­pi­tal care for se­vere chest in­fec­tions have fallen by more than 18pc since anti-smok­ing laws were in­tro­duced.

In line with ear­lier re­search, the study es­ti­mates that se­vere asthma at­tacks have fallen by al­most 10pc while the num­ber of ba­bies born pre­ma­ture has dropped by around 4pc over­all. Ba­bies of moth­ers who smoke dur­ing preg­nancy have a higher chance of be­ing born early, which ex­poses them to health com­pli­ca­tions in later life.

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