Opinion

Commentary: Good news about smoking bans

Scotland study shows smoking bans help reduce asthma attacks in children.

To those who wonder whether smoking bans actually do any good, a recent study offers one more positive answer.

The new study, conducted in Scotland, looked at the number of children hospitalized with asthma following the implementation of a nationwide smoking ban in 2006. That number of hospitalizations fell by 13 percent a year after smoking was barred from workplaces and public buildings, including bars and restaurants.

Before the ban, admissions had been rising 5 percent a year in Scotland, which has a notoriously poor health record among European nations.

Other studies, including two in the United States, had found similar results. But this was the largest study of its kind, offering the strongest case yet that smoking bans can bring immediate health improvements for many people.

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