Friday, August 22, 2008

Smoke-free air ordinance reduces asthma hospitalizations

A study published this week in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology concluded that smoke-fee laws reduced asthma emergency room visits by more than a fifth.

University of Kentucky researchers assessed emergency room visits for asthma in the Lexington area before and after the enactment of a county-wide smoke –free law. They found that, after 32 months in effect, the smoke free law dropped asthma emergency room visits by 22%. Those are HUGE numbers for Kentucky!

What does that mean for Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, there were over 22,000 hospital emergency room visits for asthma last year costing over $17 million, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. While the research can’t be extrapolated directly, a one-fifth drop in asthma visits in this state would save $3.4 million.

About 13 percent of Wisconsin’s population suffers from lifetime asthma, a chronic lung condition triggered by allergies, viral infections and irritants like tobacco smoke.

When Wisconsin goes completely Smoke-free, the citizens of the state could save as much as $3.4 million in asthma visits alone. When you add in the cost of all other health complications caused by second-hand smoke the savings in health care is quite significant.

It’s time for Wisconsin to go smoke-free, it’s time to save hard working Wisconsinites millions of dollars in health care costs.

1 comment:

lisetrise said...

Those statistics are amazing! Having raised a son with severe asthma, sparing parents and children the trauma of dealing with this disease is worth more than gold!
Second hand smoke is more dangerous than most of us realize.
Thanks for an excellent and informative post.