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Smoking ban 'has cut heart attacks'

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Smoking ban 'has cut heart attacks'
Photo: DPA
12:00 CET+01:00
The smoking ban in German pubs and cafes, even patchily implemented, has clearly reduced the number of heart attacks over the last few years, a report published on Tuesday says.

The study, conducted by the DAK-Gesundheit statutory health insurer showed a reduction in heart attacks by eight percent since 2007, while angina attacks – often a precursor to heart attacks - were down by 13 percent.

The insurer said it had evaluated hospital data of more than three million patients across Germany over the last five years - the biggest study in the world on the effects of a smoking ban.

The first year of the smoking ban had resulted in 1,880 fewer hospital treatments, and saved the health care system €7.7 million, said Herbert Rebsche, CEO of DAK-Gesundheit.

He said the state of Bavaria had imposed the most significant smoking ban in Germany, and its example should be followed by other states.

Carola Reimann, chairwoman of the parliamentary health committee called for the states – which determine health policy – to be more consistent over smoking bans. “I wish that all states would act like Bavaria and uniformly reject exceptions,” she said on Tuesday.

Hamburg state's complicated smoking ban – which allowed bars which only sold drinks to have a separate smoking room, but barred any establishments which sold food from doing so – was ruled unconstitutional last month.

The Constitutional Court said smoking bans should apply to both restaurants and bars, or to none of them. Other states have either imposed blanket smoking bans or allow all establishments to set up smoking rooms.

DPA/The Local/hc

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