A research from the University of Chicago Medicine states that the indoor ban on smoking has remarkably reduced the number of emergency room visits by children for complaints related to asthma.
Asthma In Children
Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases that affects children. It is an inflammatory disorder that results in the obstruction of the bronchial tube, the passage that allows air to enter and leave the lungs. Asthma can be caused by air pollutants and irritants, allergens, and even vigorous exercise in cold air.
Cases of asthma in children are increasing in the country in recent days. According to the data from Center for Disease Control and Prevention, asthma affects about 8.6 percent of children in the United States, which accounts for a total of 6.3 million kids. Asthma is responsible for more hospitalizations and nonattendance at schools than any other chronic conditions in the country.
Asthma poses a unique and weird situation for the children. While they may have no control or responsibility for the quality of air they breathe in, they face chronic symptoms like coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, breathlessness and poor exercising stamina.
"Children are in a very unique situation in that they have very little control over their environment," said paediatric allergy expert Christina Ciaccio, in a press release. She further suggested that altering public policies is a supportive way of controlling the environment for children in public places.
Metropolitan Locales Examined For Asthma-Related ER Visits
Meanwhile, Ciaccio and team performed a study involving 20 metropolitan locations from all over the country where indoor smoking has been banned in public places such as offices, hotels, and restaurants.
The researchers checked for ER visits related to asthma between July 2000 and January 2014, which came to around 335,588 cases. The information was gathered from the Pediatric Health Information System for 20 hospitals in District of Columbia and 14 other states. The records collected from each hospital comprised of a number of asthma-related ER visits in children between three years prior and after the indoor smoking ban came into effect.
Remarkable Drop In Emergency Room Visits By Kids After Ban On Indoor Smoking
The analysis observed a visible decline in the number of ER visits in most of the locations, with the reduction deepening with every passing year after the ban. The ER visits by children fell by 8 percent after one year, 13 percent after a couple of years, and 17 percent after three years following the ban.
"This study shows that even those short exposures to secondhand smoke in public spaces like restaurants can have a significant impact on asthma exacerbations," noted Ciaccio.
The study from the University of Chicago Medicine was published in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and was co-authored by researchers from Kansas University and Brown University.