As advocates your efforts to promote strong health policies are saving lives and healthcare costs. Do you remember hearing that visits to the emergency room by North Carolinians experiencing heart attacks declined by 21% during the first year of our state’s smoke-free law? Our state’s experience is not unique and this month, Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association published a new study that shows smoking bans quickly and dramatically cut the number of people hospitalized for heart attacks, strokes and respiratory diseases such as asthma and emphysema. Take a moment to read more.
January 2, 2013 marked the three year anniversary of NC’s smoke-free restaurant and bar law. Many of you advocated tirelessly for this law and we thank you. A poll released February 2012 by Public Opinion Strategies found that 83% of North Carolina voters support the state’s smoke-free law.
The Circulation study emphasizes that more comprehensive the law, the greater the impact. Secondhand smoke affects a non-smoker's blood vessels in as little as five minutes, causing changes that increase the risk of heart attack. Exemptions put people at needless risk for a trip to the emergency room with serious acute health conditions. Learn more by visiting our key issues site.
When we look at the impact a single policy change can have on health, smoke-free policies rank high and the more comprehensive they are, the better. North Carolina must keep our law strong. As you are reaching out to your lawmakers this month remind them that you love our smoke-free law. Don’t forget to let us know that you spoke with them by using our online webform: http://yourethecure.org/aha/advocacy/actioncenter.aspx.