Reduced hospitalizations for acute myocardial infarction after implementation of a smoke-free ordinance--City of Pueblo, Colorado, 2002-2006

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2009 Jan 2;57(51):1373-7.


Exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) has immediate adverse cardiovascular effects, and prolonged exposure can cause coronary heart disease. Nine studies have reported that laws making indoor workplaces and public places smoke-free were associated with rapid, sizeable reductions in hospitalizations for acute myocardial infarction (AMI). However, most studies examined hospitalizations for 1 year or less after laws were implemented; thus, whether the observed effect was sustained over time was unknown. The Pueblo Heart Study examined the impact of a municipal smoke-free ordinance in the city of Pueblo, Colorado, that took effect on July 1, 2003. The rate of AMI hospitalizations for city residents decreased 27%, from 257 per 100,000 person-years during the 18 months before the ordinance's implementation to 187 during the 18 months after it (the Phase I post-implementation period). This report extends that analysis for an additional 18 months through June 30, 2006 (the Phase II post-implementation period). The rate of AMI hospitalizations among city residents continued to decrease to 152 per 100,000 person-years, a decline of 19% and 41% from the Phase I post-implementation and pre-implementation period, respectively. No significant changes were observed in two comparison areas. These findings suggest that smoke-free policies can result in reductions in AMI hospitalizations that are sustained over a 3-year period and that these policies are important in preventing morbidity and mortality associated with heart disease. This effect likely is mediated through reduced SHS exposure among nonsmokers and reduced smoking, with the former making the larger contribution.

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Colorado / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology*
  • Myocardial Infarction / therapy
  • Public Policy*
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / prevention & control
  • Urban Population


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution