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More houses now imposing a home smoking ban

New research has also shown that the national smoking ban has had a “rapid effect” on smoking-related heart disease.

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Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

MORE HOMES IN Ireland are imposing a strict no-smoking rule, according to new figures. And the enforcers include smokers and their families.

A new study found that since Ireland introduced the smoking ban in March 2004, the percentage of smokers who banned smoking in the home rose by about 25 per cent.

The European-wide research revealed that smoke-free legislation also prompted more home-bans in France, Germany and the Netherlands.

The new data has been welcomed by the Irish Heart Foundation, which also noted a significant decrease in heart-related hospital admissions as a direct result of the national smoking ban.

According to figures in a separate study, just one year after the ban was introduced there was a 12 per cent reduction in the number of people admitted to hospital suffering from acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Two years later, there was a further 13 per cent drop recorded.

The research published in the Clinical Cardiology journal suggested “a rapid effect” of banning smoking in public places.

On the eve of National No Smoking Day, Dr Angie Brown, medical director at the IHF, called Ireland’s smoking ban “a pioneering move” – a “groundbreaking change to protect the nation’s health”.

Over the years opinions have varied as to the success or not of the ban but the latest research clearly shows lives are being saved with less hospital admissions for acute coronary syndromes like heart attack and unstable angina.

Ireland has come a long way in the fight against smoking. The next step is to tackle tobacco consumption through tax increases, anti-smuggling enforcement and smoking cessation measures, added Dr Brown.

Smoking is the second leading risk factor for mortality across the world, accounting for about 5 million deaths per year. Almost 848,000 people die from cadiovascular disease related to smoking annually. About 25 per cent of Irish adults still smoke more than one cigarette per week.

More: Smoking related diseases in women reaching ‘epic proportions’>

Read: Conference calls for tobacco tax hikes across Europe>

Study: Impact of a National Smoking Ban on Hospital Admission for Acute Coronary Syndromes>

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