The ban on smoking at work which came into effect in 2004 has cut the number of acute heart attacks in the Netherlands by around 12%, according to the Caphri public health research institute at Maastricht University.
By contrast, the introduction of the smoking ban in cafes and bars has had a negligible effect, possibly because the ban was introduced ‘chaotically’ and is widely ignored, news agency ANP quoted the researchers as saying.
The team looked at the number of heart attacks in Limburg province between January 2002 and May 2010.
In total, they recorded 2,305 heart attacks during the period. The decline following the introduction of the ban means across the Netherlands as a whole, some 16,000 acute heart attacks were prevented.
Given that such attacks are fatal in 90% of cases, the ban has effectively saved 14,000 lives, the Telegraaf reported.
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