AHA: Comprehensive smoking ban would save U.S. $90M+

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WASHINGTON, D.C.--A nationwide smoking ban in the U.S. would save more than $90 million and significantly reduce hospitalizations for acute MI, according to a poster presentation at the American Heart Association (AHA) Quality of Care and Outcomes Research conference last week.

"Smoking—active and passive—is responsible for acute MI. We wanted to see what economic benefit we would get in healthcare if there is a comprehensive smoking ban across the U.S.," said Tanmay Swadia, MD, a fellow at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, who presented the study.

Led by Mouaz H. Al-Mallah, MD, researchers obtained 2007 data on the number of acute MI admissions, length of stay and hospital charges from the 13 states currently without a public smoking ban.

They found 169,043 AMI hospitalizations in these 13 states without a smoking ban.

Recent analysis shows an 11 percent expected decrease in incidence of acute MI if there is cessation of smoking.

"We projected the 11 percent expected decrease into number of AMIs and found it would result in 18,596 fewer AMI admissions, resutling in a savings of more than $92 million in direct costs. This is not looking at other health-related smoking admissions or time-loss from work," Swadia said.

A similar study conducted in 2008 by Al-Mallah found that a smoking ban in Michigan could lead to a 12 percent drop in heart attack admissions after the first year of implementation. On May 1, Michigan became the 38th state to ban smoking in public places.