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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2039

Smoke-free legislation in Hong Kong saves lives

By Manjari Peiris

A recent study published in the journal BMJ measured changes in death rates due to cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and other causes after Hong Kong implemented a smoke-free law, reveals that in the five years following implementation of Hong Kong’s smoke-free law, there were fewer deaths due to ischemic heart disease, respiratory diseases and cardiovascular disease, viz. 12.6 percent, 10.4 percent and 6.2 percent respectively.

The greatest declines in death rates were among people aged 65 years and older.

Exposure to secondhand smoke is a well established cause of a variety of health harms leading to premature death.

The Article 8 of the WHO – Framework Convention on Tobacco Control obligates Parties to enact and implement comprehensive smoke-free policies in all public places, workplaces and public transport to protect the public from the harms of secondhand smoke.

Tobacco Control is an internationally peer-reviewed journal covering the nature and consequences of tobacco use worldwide. The journal is for health professionals and others in tobacco control and is a publication of the British Medical Journal.

The findings in this study add to the evidence base, as summarized in the Surgeon General’s report, extending the impact of effective smoke0free legislation to those aged 65 years or older and to cerebro-vascular events in younger age groups. They also reinforced the necessity for comprehensive, enforced and effective smoke-free laws, if the full extent of the health gains is to be achieved.

- Asian Tribune -

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