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E. The Impact of a Smoke-free Environment

Narrator: This is Science Today. In an effort to prove that public smoking bans lower heart attack rates, Dr. Stan Glantz, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, has been studying the isolated community of Helena, Montana, where in just six months a non-smoking ordinance has slashed heart attack rates in the community. Glantz says importantly, all heart attack patients go to the same hospital - that is, the only hospital, in Helena.

Glantz: I worked with two physicians from Helena and we looked at admissions to the hospital for heart attacks. And what we found was that for people who lived in or very close to Helena, there was a 60% drop in the number of admissions for heart attacks while this non-smoking ordinance was in effect. Whereas, for people who lived further away and didn't have the benefits of the smoke-free environments, there was no change in the admissions. So creating smoke-free environments has an immediate, very positive effect on heart attacks.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.