Background: Second-hand smoke increases the risk of acute myocardial infarction. Canton Ticino (CT) first introduced a smoking ban in public places in 2007. This offered the opportunity to assess the long-term impact of a smoking ban on the incidence of ST-elevation myocardial infarctions (STEMI) compared with a population where the law was not yet implemented.
Methods: We assessed the incidence of STEMI hospitalizations per 100 000 inhabitants both during 3 years before and after the ban application in CT and in Canton Basel City (CBC), where this law was not yet applied. Data were obtained from the codified hospital registry (ICD-10 codes).
Results: In CT, the mean incidence of STEMI admissions during the 3 pre-ban years (123.7) was significantly higher than the incidence of admissions in each of the 3 post-ban years (92.9, 101.6 and 89.6 respectively; P <.024). Analysing population subsets, a post-ban reduction was observed among ≥65-year-old people of both sexes in each of the 3 post-ban years and in the <65-year age group during the first post-ban year (P = 0.02). Conversely, the mean incidence of STEMI hospitalizations in CBC (92.4) didn't change significantly in each of the 3 post-ban years (83.9, 83.3 and 79.5, P = NS) during the same period. However, a significant long-term reduction in STEMI admissions was observed in CBC among the male group with ≥65 years (P < 0.01).
Conclusion: Our work suggests a significant impact of the smoke-free policy on the number of annual STEMI. Specific population subsets (i.e. ≥65-year-old females) were particularly affected by the smoking ban, showing a significant reduction in STEMI hospitalizations.
© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association. All rights reserved.