Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Hearts Smokeless

Our hearts are happier without smoke, and it shows. In fact, according to a 2009 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, states with smoke-free laws had declines in their emergency room visits for heart attacks of smokers and non-smokers, sometimes 25% below the pre-law rate.

After seeing a statistic like this, quitting smoking looks a lot more attractive, and smokers aren’t the only people whose hearts are being helped by smoke-free laws. By avoiding secondhand smoke, which can increase the risk of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) up to 25% to 31%, nonsmokers breathe easier, too (Cardiovascular Effect of Bans on Smoking in Public Places). In fact, those states who implemented a smoking ban from January 2004 to April 2009 saw an overall average AMI decrease by 17% overall.

What could or would you do with a healthier heart, a healthier life? Play soccer with your daughter or catch with your grandson? Go for long walks with your partner? Shovel snow without running out of breath?

These seem like small things in the long run, but it’s the little things that count.

If you’re happier that your heart is healthier, here are some things you can do:

1) Write a letter to your local newspaper about how great smoke-free policy has been for your enjoyment of visiting public places and allowing you to live life with less illness.

2) Write or call your legislators and tell them how much the last year-plus of smoke-free air has meant to you in terms of your health and the health of your community.

3) Patronize restaurants and other public smoke-free places and tell them how much you love going out now that you can breathe clean air.

Enjoy your smoke-free air and breathe easy, Wisconsin.