¿Por qué nosotros no? Acción Ciudadana por la Salud y el cambio de la Ley Española de Tabaco

Smoke-free laws linked to drop in child asthma attacks

25/01/2013 Reuters - NBC News

Smoke-free laws linked to drop in child asthma attacks

1/21/2013 8:21:48 AM ET NBCNews.com

LONDON (Reuters) - Introducing laws banning smoking in enclosed public places can lead to swift and dramatic

falls in the number of children admitted to hospital suffering asthma attacks, according to a study in England

published on Monday.

Researchers at Imperial College London found there was a 12.3 percent fall in hospital admissions for childhood

asthma in the first year after laws against smoking in enclosed public places and workplaces came into effect in July


Similar anti-smoking legislation has been introduced in many other countries, including in the United States where it

has also been linked to a reduction in childhood asthma emergencies.

"The findings are good news ... and they should encourage countries where public smoking is permitted to consider

introducing similar legislation," said Christopher Millett from Imperial's school of public health, who led the study.

Asthma affects more than 300 million people worldwide and is ...

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... the world's most common children's chronic illness.

Symptoms include wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing and chest tightness. In Britain, it affects one in every 11


Before the ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces was implemented in England, hospital admissions for children

suffering a severe asthma attacks were increasing by 2.2 percent a year, peaking at 26,969 in 2006/2007, the

researchers found.

That trend reversed immediately after the law came into effect, with lower admission rates among boys and girls of

all ages. There were similar reductions among children in wealthy and poor neighborhoods, both in cities and in rural


The effect was equivalent to 6,802 fewer hospital admissions in the first three years after the law came into effect,

the team wrote in a study in the journal Pediatrics.

"There is already evidence that eliminating smoking from public places has resulted in substantial population health

benefits ... and this study shows that those benefits extend to ... childhood asthma," Millett said in a statement.

A study published in 2009 also found the ban on smoking in public places in England led to a swift and significant

drop in the number of heart attacks, saving the national health service 8.4 million pounds ($13.3 million) in the first


"Previous studies have also suggested that the smoke-free law changed people's attitudes about exposing others to

second-hand smoke and led more people to abstain from smoking voluntarily at home and in cars," Millett said.

(Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Louise Ireland)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2013. Check for restrictions at: http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp

Tax hike cuts tobacco consumption

15/01/2013 By Dennis Cauchon, USA TODAY

A giant federal tobacco tax hike has spurred a historic drop in smoking, especially among teens, poor people and those dependent on government health insurance, a USA TODAY analysis finds.

President Obama signed the tax hike — the biggest to take effect in his first term — on his 16th day in office, reversing two vetoes by President Bush. The federal cigarette tax jumped from 39 cents to $1.01 per pack on April 1, 2009, to finance expanded health care for children. Since then, the change has brought in more than $30 billion in new revenue, tax records show.

Yet the tax hike and its repercussions remain mostly unknown to the non-smoking public. The tax increase's size and national reach lifted prices 22% overnight, more than all state and local tax hikes combined over the past decade when adjusted for inflation.

Result: The tax hike has helped restart a long-term decline in smoking that had stalled in recent years. About 3 million fewer people smoked last year than in 2009, despite a larger population, according to surveys by the Centers for ...

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... Disease Control and Prevention.

The tax hits hardest on families who make less than $50,000 a year and account for two-thirds of smokers.

"The federal tax increase was the win-win that we thought it would be and the evidence shows that," says Danny McGoldrick, research vice president at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

Teen smoking immediately fell 10% to 13% when the tax hike took effect, says researcher Jidong Huang of the University of Illinois at Chicago. "High prices deter kids from picking up cigarettes," he says.

Higher taxes aren't the only reason smoking has fallen dramatically among adults since the early 1980s and among teens since the mid-1990s.

Health concerns, smoke-free buildings and marketing restrictions have played a role. Tobacco companies have raised their prices, too, making money off fewer customers.

"It's difficult to be specific about what influences individual adult consumer behavior, but taxes are one thing in the mix," says David Sutton, spokesman for Altria Group, maker of Marlboro cigarettes. He says taxes and fees are so high — 55% of Marlboro's retail price — that they unfairly burden adults who choose to smoke.

Taxes are the sledge hammer of anti-smoking efforts. The federal tax hike helped push tobacco use down to 18.9% in 2011, the lowest level on record, according to the CDC surveys. Even smokers who don't quit light up less. In the 1990s, one of every 20 high school students smoked 10 or more cigarettes a day. Today, one out of 71 students smoke that much.

Other findings:

•Who quit. The elderly and Hispanics slashed smoking most dramatically, each down more than 15% from 2008 to 2011, according to the CDC's National Health Interview Survey. Women quit more than men. Least moved: middle-age men, down just 1.2%.

•Health care for poor. About 1 million adults on Medicaid quit smoking, which could reduce future health costs.

•Tobacco industry. Consumer spending on tobacco rose from $80 billion in 2008 to $98 billion in 2011 in inflation-adjusted dollars — even though the amount of tobacco purchased fell 11%, Bureau of Economic Analysis data show. Higher taxes accounted for about half that spending increase. The rest went to tobacco companies and retailers.

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