Health Benefits of the 2008 Iowa Smokefree Air Act
Christopher Squier , Dept of Oral Pathology, College of Dentistry, University of IowaWilliam Haynes, Dept of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Iowa JoAnn Muldoon,
Division of Tobacco Use Prevention and Control and Iowa Diabetes Control Program,Iowa Dept. Public Health
A large number of studies, summarized in a November 2009 report from the Institute of Medicine, showdecreases in heart attacks after the institution of smoking bans, ranging from 6 to 47%. We now haveevidence that the Iowa Smokefree Air Act, introduced in July 2008, is having similarly beneficial effects.Using data submitted to the Iowa Department of Public Health from hospitals across Iowa, we have lookedat the number of monthly hospitalizations between July 2005 and June 2009 for a variety of cardiovascular diseases and conditions that are caused or exacerbated by tobacco smoke and smoking. We have alsolooked at ‘control’ conditions, such as infections of the kidney or pancreatitis, that would not be expected tobe altered by exposure to tobacco smoke.The results show large decreases in hospital admissions for cardiovascular diseases in the year that theSmokefree Air Act was implemented (2008-9), compared to the average of the previous three years (2005-8). This data can be seen in the Figures below.
Coronary heart disease
is the single greatest cause of death in the United States. With the introduction of the Smokefree Air Act, there was an average 24% reduction in hospital admissions,
representing 2324fewer Iowans with this condition,
compared to the average of the preceding three years. The benefitappears to be getting larger over time, with a more than 40% decrease in coronary heart diseaseadmissions in June 2009 compared to June 2008.
Acute myocardial infarctions
or heart attacks are the leading cause of death formen and women worldwide.
With the introduction of the Smokefree Air Act, there was an 8%reduction in hospital admissions,
representing 483 fewer Iowans with this condition,
compared to theaverage of the preceding three years.