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Smoking ban benefits children with asthma

Jenny Decker RN's picture

Smoke-free legislation has led to fewer hospitalizations for children with asthma, according to a study in Scotland released September 16th in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study took place from January 2000 through October 2009 in children 15 years and younger. Smoke-free legislation was passed in 2006 and results afterward the study began to show a significant reduction in asthma exacerbations in children, benefitting their respiratory health.

Admissions to hospitals for asthma exacerbations in children under the age of 15 were found to be increasing about 5% each year, which equals about six per day. After the legislation, the number of children’s asthma attacks decreased by 13 percent a year. This change occurred from the time the legislation took place in 2006 to October 2009.

Parents decreased smoking on their own

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When the smoking ban went into place, there was concern that smoking would increase in the home environment. However, it was found that smoking actually decreased in the homes. Parents were found to be decreasing smoking on their own. According to study author Dr. Jill Pell, “It made smoking less popular and led significant numbers of adult smokers to cut back or quite their habit at home, where the kids were.”

This is consistent with U.S. research. Smoking bans in social places were followed by decreasing and quitting at home. When it comes to protecting other more vulnerable populations, such as children, adults are more likely to at least decrease smoking.

If you would like to quit smoking, WebMD gives some steps to take while quitting smoking, such as eating a healthy diet so as not to gain weight, learning stress reduction skills, and identifying personal smoking triggers. You may also contact your physician for assistance with smoking cessation.