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Scotland's smoking ban means fewer kids in hospital with asthma
  1. Atul Gupta
  1. Correspondence to Atul Gupta, Senior Research Fellow, Royal Brompton Hospital and NHLI Imperial College, Sydney Street, London SW3 6NP, UK; atulgupta{at}doctors.org.uk

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The aim of this study was to determine whether the ban on smoking in public places in Scotland, which was initiated in March 2006, influenced the rate of hospital admission for childhood asthma. The risk of hospital admission was determined from January 2000 to October 2009 among children aged <15 years. Before the ban imposed in March 2006, the number of hospital admissions for asthma was rising by 5.2% a year among children aged <15 years. The public smoking ban reduced the annual rate of serious childhood asthma attacks by 18% per year. The benefits following the ban were seen in both preschool children and those of school age.

This study shows that there was a reduction in the rate of hospitalisation for childhood asthma after the introduction of legislation to make public places smoke-free, suggesting that the benefits of such legislation can extend to populations other than those with occupational exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.

▶ Mackay D, Haw S, Ayres J, et al. Smoke-free legislation and hospitalization for childhood. N Engl J Med 2010;363:1139–45.

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