Smoking bans are good for kids

smokingIt’s a well-established fact that smoking is bad for your health.  Thousands of studies and hundreds of systematic reviews have documented health problems related to individuals smoking. But this week, researchers published the first-ever review that found smoking in public places has broader negative consequences for child health.

The analysis, published in the British journal The Lancet, included 11 studies conducted between 1975 and 2013 involving more than 2.5 million youth in Europe and North America. The studies investigated the connections between smoking bans and child health indicator including preterm birth, low birth weight and hospital visits for asthma.

Researchers found evidence that legislation banning smoking in public places was associated with significant reductions in preterm birth and hospital admission for asthma, but didn’t find any effect on birth weight.

“Together with the known health benefits in adults, our study provides clear evidence that smoking bans have considerable public health benefits for peri-natal and child health, and provides strong support for recommendations to create smoke-free public environments on a national level,” said lead researcher Dr. Jasper Been from the Maastricht University Medical Centre, The Netherlands.

The take-home message on this one is clear: Legislation that bans smoking in public places leads to better health for babies and youth.

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