Health Blog

Sad Smokers Mean Happy Hearts

Smoking bans reduce heart attacks by over a third.

October 4, 2009
Smoking bans: smoker's blight, cardiologist's bliss. [Credit: Saudi..., flickr.com]
Smoking bans: smoker's blight, cardiologist's bliss. [Credit: Saudi..., flickr.com]

Not only do workplace smoking bans result in fewer cases of lung cancer and emphysema, they cause local heart attack rates to drop by more than one-third.  A new study in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association found that community heart attack rates fall 15 percent the first year of a ban, with a 36 percent decrease after three years.

This is good news for the U.S.  Nearly half of the 50 states have passed smoking ban legislation, and new smoke-free laws are up for discussion in state legislatures and city halls across the country (such as the outdoor smoking ban recently proposed in New York City).   Heart disease is a huge public health issue, and to see it so dramatically affected by a relatively simple policy change is—well, heartening.

Some see even broader potential in these new findings.  The anti-smoking organization Action on Smoking and Health, suggests that enacting more smoking bans would fund health care better than many existing proposals.  They calculate that the decrease in heart attack admissions alone would save the healthcare system $3 billion a year.

Related on Scienceline:

An alcohol enzyme that limits heart attack damage.

Smoking gene: genetics may someday help smokers decide the best way to quit.

Arresting conditions: differences in cardiac survival on nights and weekends.

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About the Author

Valerie Ross studied cognitive neuroscience and creative writing at Stanford University. While it was her fascination with understanding and explaining the mind and brain that first got her interested in science writing, Valerie has now written about everything from the neuroscience of memory to drug-resistant bacteria to general relativity. She has interned with Scientific American Mind, Discover, and Popular Mechanics.

Discussion

5 Comments

Ken Hill says:

Government Will Make Smokers, Children, Families, Sick

Government’s that foster anti-smoking policies lead the real health epidemic, government interference. They are not using science as their competent guide into the future. Instead they use the deep festering envy of politicized environmentalists (those unable to compete on a level playing field) to revisit remnants of the dark ages. The profound statement of philosopher/novelist Ayn Rand echoes the truth that smothers us, “Today, we live in the age of envy.”

I am a life-long non-smoker, who has lost the four most precious people in my life. Cancer was the effect, a consequence, but not the cause. Yet, I will not help to propagandize health into dictatorial policy through anti-smoking. I do not wish to repeat the 1930’s, 1940’s. Do you?

Exactly how can our government “create a healthier society for all” when they betray the smoker’s sense of trust, demoralize their self-confidence, disrupt their employer-employee relationships, upheave their family life, and undermind their efficacy by alienating them from their own human nature?

This destructive mind/body dichotomy will subject smoker’s to long-term emotional and mental disorders, thus leading to serious physical ailments. In reality, our government is making them sick.

A particularily foreboding feature of the mind/body dichotomy is the government’s suffocating negative influence while aggressively restricting young people from making their own decisions. Government aggression will severely jeopardize each young person’s struggle to form a necessary sense of self-confidence. This fragile process is usually a traumatic experience, especially when that negative influence is hidden under the misconception of government benevolence.

In reality, our government lacks the knowledge of the trigger mechanism that sets off most cancers or most other major diseases to then become a critical danger for human beings. It is not smoking, nor second-hand smoke. Then why does government pathetically use smoker’s as their scapegoat, perhaps they require an example in order to intimidate other industries?

Chicken Littleism is no longer a silly joke. It is now a snarling threat. Stamp out politicized environmentalism, not smokers.

Ken Hill says:

This letter, from a non-smoker, refers to all anti-smoking legislation.

*An open letter that was emailed to all (103) Ontario, Canada political MPP’s in early May, 2008. No replies! This non-response reflects government without a sense of responsibility or a foundation for their actions!

Betrayal, Anti-Smoking Message is Like Fascism that Preys Upon Our Children

We must not look within ourselves. We may discover what we are becoming!

Moral judgement is the mirror, mirror, on the wall image, always lurking in our mind, like an alter-conscience, prepared to reveal the frightening truth, in our soul, such as the undeserved vengefulness, at any cost, wielded against smokers. Even betrayal, of the next generation, becomes palatable within self-betrayal.

This remorseless mental/emotional preying upon, our precious children, recklessly poisons their mind and spirit, under the government’s pernicious slogan “health and safety.”

By supporting anti-smoking, we endorse and promote Fascism, an historically proven scurvy upon humanity!

The inevitable shame, of our past actions, can still be averted, by rescinding this government agenda!

The most”dangerous smoke” comes not from cigarettes, instead from the government smoke screen to obscure from view, that the real issue is Capitalism and science versus Fascism and politicized environmentalism, not ‘health and safety.’

Science and politicized environmentalism are colliding worlds, science being the height of pursuing truth, politicized environmentalism the depth of distorting truth. Anti-smoking is part of politicized environmentalism and the attempted foundation of Fascism!

Do we therefore side with Capitalism, science, Second World War troops and our allies– honour; or do we side with Fascism, politicized environmentalism, our enemies of the Second World War– disgrace? Thus far we blindly follow our enemies and disgrace!

From the mouth of Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace, “It doesn’t matter what is true; it only matters what people believe is true…..You are what the media define you to be. Greenpeace became a myth and a myth-generating machine.” We deserve truth, not half-truths and propaganda!

For any high ranking government official that lack this critical knowledge, they are in their office under false pretenses. They are unprepared to govern. Their present course of anti-smoking legislations is the proof of that statement.

In the words of Psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden, “I was acutely conscious of the pressure to ‘adapt’ and to absorb the values of the ‘tribe’—family, community and culture. It seemed to me that what was asked was the surrender of my judgement and also my conviction that my life and what I made of it was of the highest possible value. I saw my contemporaries surrendering and losing their fire. Why was growing up equated with giving up?”

Philosopher/Novelist Ayn Rand wrote, “If some demagogue were to offer us, as a guiding creed, the following tenets: that statistics should be substituted for truth, vote-counting for principles, numbers for rights, and public polls for morality–that pragmatic, range-of-the-moment expediency should be the criterion of a country’s interests, and that the number of its adherents should be the criterion of an idea’s truth or falsehood–that any desire of any nature whatsoever should be accepted as a valid claim, provided it is held by a sufficient number of people–that a majority may do anything it pleases to a minority–in short, gang rule and mob rule–if a demagogue were to offer it, he would not get very far. Yet all of it is contained in–and camouflaged by–the notion of ‘Government by Consensus.”

‘Rule by Consensus,’ (Rule by health care pressure group) is todays’ anti-ideology in government. Appeasement of these power-lusting, health care pressure groups is of higher priority than our children and all other tax payers, voters, and citizens. The permeating emotion from ‘Rule by Consensus’ is demoralizing, debilitating fear instead of an optimistic view of the future.

Note this recent example, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said he wouldn’t entertain a ban (smoking in cars with children) because it amounts to “too much intrusion into people’s private lives.” The logical interpretation of this statement is that the entire anti-smoking movement eliminates smoker’s individual rights, and has always been an intrusion into a smoker’s family dynamic. Now, the Ontario government is prepared, in predictable flip-flop fashion, to enact such a ban.

In ignobility, many people have misaligned themself with politicized environmentalism, despite the fact that 1930’s, 1940’s, Germany used “politicized ecology and public health” to base its rationalizations. Are we predisposed to mistakenly mirror the historic footsteps of self-loathing mass destruction? No! Everyone has an individual mind and conscience, above party politics. Be true to them, follow your courage (truth) and dethrone your fear (fallacy). Rescind this government’s shameful anti-smoking agenda.

References:

Paul Watson – Environmental Overkill, (Whatever happened to common sense) – book
Psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden, The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem – book
Ayn Rand – Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal – book

*An open letter that was emailed to all (103) Ontario MPP’s in early May, 2008. No replies! This non-response reflects government without a sense of responsibility or a foundation for their actions!

Betrayal, Anti-Smoking Message is Like Fascism that Preys Upon Our Children

We must not look within ourselves. We may discover what we are becoming!

Moral judgement is the mirror, mirror, on the wall image, always lurking in our mind, like an alter-conscience, prepared to reveal the frightening truth, in our soul, such as the undeserved vengefulness, at any cost, wielded against smokers. Even betrayal, of the next generation, becomes palatable within self-betrayal.

This remorseless mental/emotional preying upon, our precious children, recklessly poisons their mind and spirit, under the government’s pernicious slogan “health and safety.”

By supporting anti-smoking, we endorse and promote Fascism, an historically proven scurvy upon humanity!

The inevitable shame, of our past actions, can still be averted, by rescinding this government agenda!

The most”dangerous smoke” comes not from cigarettes, instead from the government smoke screen to obscure from view, that the real issue is Capitalism and science versus Fascism and politicized environmentalism, not ‘health and safety.’

Science and politicized environmentalism are colliding worlds, science being the height of pursuing truth, politicized environmentalism the depth of distorting truth. Anti-smoking is part of politicized environmentalism and the attempted foundation of Fascism!

Do we therefore side with Capitalism, science, Second World War troops and our allies– honour; or do we side with Fascism, politicized environmentalism, our enemies of the Second World War– disgrace? Thus far we blindly follow our enemies and disgrace!

From the mouth of Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace, “It doesn’t matter what is true; it only matters what people believe is true…..You are what the media define you to be. Greenpeace became a myth and a myth-generating machine.” We deserve truth, not half-truths and propaganda!

For any high ranking government official that lack this critical knowledge, they are in their office under false pretenses. They are unprepared to govern. Their present course of anti-smoking legislations is the proof of that statement.

In the words of Psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden, “I was acutely conscious of the pressure to ‘adapt’ and to absorb the values of the ‘tribe’—family, community and culture. It seemed to me that what was asked was the surrender of my judgement and also my conviction that my life and what I made of it was of the highest possible value. I saw my contemporaries surrendering and losing their fire. Why was growing up equated with giving up?”

Philosopher/Novelist Ayn Rand wrote, “If some demagogue were to offer us, as a guiding creed, the following tenets: that statistics should be substituted for truth, vote-counting for principles, numbers for rights, and public polls for morality–that pragmatic, range-of-the-moment expediency should be the criterion of a country’s interests, and that the number of its adherents should be the criterion of an idea’s truth or falsehood–that any desire of any nature whatsoever should be accepted as a valid claim, provided it is held by a sufficient number of people–that a majority may do anything it pleases to a minority–in short, gang rule and mob rule–if a demagogue were to offer it, he would not get very far. Yet all of it is contained in–and camouflaged by–the notion of ‘Government by Consensus.”

‘Rule by Consensus,’ (Rule by health care pressure group) is todays’ anti-ideology in government. Appeasement of these power-lusting, health care pressure groups is of higher priority than our children and all other tax payers, voters, and citizens. The permeating emotion from ‘Rule by Consensus’ is demoralizing, debilitating fear instead of an optimistic view of the future.

Note this recent example, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said he wouldn’t entertain a ban (smoking in cars with children) because it amounts to “too much intrusion into people’s private lives.” The logical interpretation of this statement is that the entire anti-smoking movement eliminates smoker’s individual rights, and has always been an intrusion into a smoker’s family dynamic. Now, the Ontario government is prepared, in predictable flip-flop fashion, to enact such a ban.

In ignobility, many people have misaligned themself with politicized environmentalism, despite the fact that 1930’s, 1940’s, Germany used “politicized ecology and public health” to base its rationalizations. Are we predisposed to mistakenly mirror the historic footsteps of self-loathing mass destruction? No! Everyone has an individual mind and conscience, above party politics. Be true to them, follow your courage (truth) and dethrone your fear (fallacy). Rescind this government’s shameful anti-smoking agenda.

References:

Paul Watson – Environmental Overkill, (Whatever happened to common sense) – book
Psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden, The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem – book
Ayn Rand – Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal – book

Clara says:

“Exactly how can our government “create a healthier society for all” when they betray the smoker’s sense of trust, demoralize their self-confidence, disrupt their employer-employee relationships, upheave their family life, and undermind their efficacy by alienating them from their own human nature?”

To believe that smoking is ‘human nature’ is idiocy. So smokers have got some particular gene for smoking? And if during the course of the smoker’s personal history, she hadn’t taken up smoking in the first place, she would have denied her ‘human nature’?

“I am a life-long non-smoker, who has lost the four most precious people in my life. Cancer was the effect, a consequence, but not the cause. Yet, I will not help to propagandize health into dictatorial policy through anti-smoking. I do not wish to repeat the 1930′s, 1940′s. Do you?”

Are you some spokesperson of the tobacco lobby? Or somebody who enjoys making doomsday prophecies? Maybe you are one of those who thinks Obama is Nazi, right?

Clara says:

Dear fellow libertarians,

If there is one thing that we all ought to realize when talking about rights, it is this

THERE ARE OFTEN CONFLICTS BETWEEN OPPOSING RIGHTS.

For example, what would you say to smokers, who have children, smoking in their own private homes? Now that isn’t forbidden by law. And yet, one cannot help wonder how to balance the parent’s right to smoke with the child’s right to avoid second-hand smoke? Of-course, the child may not always complain and may even take to early smoking. Now, if nobody is complaining, there is no argument from rights, no question of conflict of rights. But then, the child’s health could surely have been far better in a healthier environment and it didn’t exactly get to choose – you see the point, don’t you?

We have to choose the right balance between opposing rights of different people keeping the larger picture in perspective – by trying to identify which things are gratuitous and which absolutely important (good health, for example).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3iZVPYhAGk&p=A8C7A27A6C7BF698

Ehtel says:

Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Taking the time and actual effort to make a really good article… but what can I
say… I procrastinate a lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.

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