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Fewer heart attacks due to smoking bans
The number of heart attack treatments or the pre-stage angina pectoris has decreased since the introduction of the non-smoking protection laws in 2007 and 2008. This is shown by a study presented by the health insurance company DAK-Gesundheit. In this context, Carola Reimann (SPD), chair of the health committee in the German Bundestag, calls for a stricter and uniform smoking ban for all federal states.
Laws on the protection of non-smokers are having an effect Since the ban on smoking in restaurants was introduced, the number of medical treatments due to heart attacks has decreased by eight percent. This was the result of a study by the health insurance company DAK-Gesundheit. Even 13 percent fewer treatments were given for angina pectoris, a pre-stage for heart attacks. In the view of the health fund, the laws on non-smoker protection have an initial effect.
"The results of our study make it clear how important the non-smoking protection laws are for health," explains Herbert Rebscher, Chairman of the Board of DAK Health. "And it shows that these laws effectively protect the health of people in our country." Just one year after the laws on non-smoker protection were introduced, 1880 hospital treatments were prevented, thus saving 7.7 million euros. According to the health insurance company, the study is the largest study on this topic worldwide. For this purpose, the patient data of more than three million patients were evaluated within five years.
Stricter, more uniform non-smoking protection required In view of the study results, Rebscher calls for a nationwide smoking ban: "With its consistent non-smoking protection, Bavaria can serve as a blueprint for other federal states." Carola Reimann (SPD), chair of the health committee in the Bundestag, is also fighting for a stricter, uniform smoking ban for all federal states: "I would like all federal states to do the same as Bavaria and uniformly waive exceptions." "Now an initiative would not find a majority," she reports. However, corresponding plans would be in place. She says about the positive development regarding the reduction of heart attacks and angina pectoris: "This shows that they are real prevention laws."
Citizens in the Federal Republic also support the laws on non-smoking protection. This was the result of a representative survey by the Forsa Institute, which was carried out on behalf of DAK-Gesundheit. Accordingly, 82 percent of the respondents find the non-smoking protection laws to be good. This is also followed by 68 percent of smokers. 63 percent of those questioned said that they used to feel annoyed by cigarette smoke. A little less than a quarter said they have visited cafés and restaurants more often since the new law was introduced.
Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death. According to the Federal Statistical Office, cardiovascular diseases were the most common cause of death in Germany in 2010. This caused 41 percent of all deaths. 353,000 people died as a result of cardiovascular disease. Almost 60,000 of them were diagnosed with a heart attack as the cause of death.
In addition to cardiovascular diseases, smoking tobacco increases the risk of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and numerous other lung diseases. In addition, smoking increases the risk of cancer and the risk of suffering a stroke. In addition, tobacco use weakens the immune system and poses an increased risk of cirrhosis, gastrointestinal ulcers, erectile dysfunction, gum loss, macular degeneration and many other diseases. (Ag)
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