Changes in U.S. hospitalization and mortality rates following smoking bans

J Policy Anal Manage. 2010 Winter;30(1):6-28. doi: 10.1002/pam.20548.


U.S. state and local governments have increasingly adopted restrictions on smoking in public places. This paper analyzes nationally representative databases, including the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, to compare short-term changes in mortality and hospitalization rates in smoking-restricted regions with control regions. In contrast with smaller regional studies, we find that smoking bans are not associated with statistically significant short-term declines in mortality or hospital admissions for myocardial infarction or other diseases. An analysis simulating smaller studies using subsamples reveals that large short-term increases in myocardial infarction incidence following a smoking ban are as common as the large decreases reported in the published literature.

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Factual
  • Global Health
  • Health Policy / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Health Policy / trends
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospitalization / trends*
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Infarction / etiology
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Regression Analysis
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Smoking / mortality
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • United States


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution