Smoke-related heart attacks decline in England but how so for hotel workers?

The British Medical Journal has released a report into the effects of smoke-free workplaces on the rate of heart attacks in the English population.  The report finds that a ban on smoking in workplaces has resulted in a 2.4% fall in heart attacks which equates to 12,000 people.  This is good news but it could have been better, or more relevant to workplace safety issues.

The study conclusion acknowledges that

“The considerably smaller decline in admissions observed in England compared with many other jurisdictions probably reflects aspects of the study design and the relatively low levels of exposure to secondhand smoke in England before the legislation.” [emphasis added]

Low levels of cigarette smoke may have been the reality across all workplaces but this is unlikely to have been the case in English pubs, from personal experience.

Research, similar to that undertaken above, would be very useful if it was to assess the cardiovascular disorder rate in hotel workers where the smoke-free obligation has existed since July 2007.  Hotel workers are a readily defined group who could not avoid exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke and a study of the health impacts of this sector could reinforce the wisdom of smoke-free legislation and could show how quickly a common social and public health hazard can be turned around.

The above study is good news, particularly for the 12,000 who may now have the chance to die from old age, but analysing a smaller, more targeted population sample in high exposure environments might have more international significance and application.

Kevin Jones

reservoir, victoria, australia

2 thoughts on “Smoke-related heart attacks decline in England but how so for hotel workers?”

  1. That\’s very good result. Stop smoking not only good for health, i.e. prevent the heart attack disease but also save the workplace from fire hazards. In fact, many smokers do not realize that their bad habits endanger many lifes.
    Some countries may just limit the smoking area. But that\’s a good start. England has shown the effective regulation on this I think.

  2. Kevin. I am a 50yr old smoker who gave up 5yrs ago. Have smoked since I was 15. I applaud smoke free workplaces – but isn\’t it all just hypocrisy? Not from the companies or OHS people – the government mate! They spend millions on health/anti smoking legislation – but the truth is they will never ban it because they can\’t bring themselves to forgo the huge tax revenues that smokers generate. It\’s all a total crock, & we will all just keep paying for it one way or another. Bloody hypocrites – the lot of them!

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