Smoke-free policies are associated with lower blood pressure

photo of a no smoking sign outdoors

Journal of the American Heart Association Report

Smoke-free policies have been associated with lower systolic (top number) blood pressure readings among non-smokers, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

While smoke-free policies – laws that prohibit smoking in public places like bars and restaurants – have been associated with reduced rates of hospitalization for heart disease, previous studies have not examined changes in blood pressure. In this new analysis, researchers linked data from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA, 1995-2011) study to state, county and local smoke-free policies in restaurants, bars and workplaces.

“We found that nonsmoking adults in the study who lived in areas with smoke-free laws in restaurants, bars or workplaces had lower systolic blood pressure by the end of the follow-up period compared to those who lived in areas without smoke-free laws,” said Stephanie Mayne, Ph.D., study lead author and research scientist at PolicyLab and the Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The study was conducted while she was a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

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