Including Casinos in Smoke-Free Laws Cut Ambulance Calls

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 (Last Updated: 08/07/2013)

TUESDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The extension of smoke-free laws to include casinos correlates with a significant decrease in the number of emergency calls originating from casinos, according to a study published online Aug. 5 in Circulation.

To examine the impact of the extension of state smoke-free laws to include casinos on ambulance calls originating from casinos, Stanton A. Glantz, Ph.D., from the University of California San Francisco, and Erin Gibbs, from the Gilpin Ambulance Authority in Black Hawk, Colo., used an interrupted time series of ambulance calls originating from and not originating from casinos in Gilpin County, Colo., from 2000 through 2012.

The researchers observed a significant 22.8 percent decrease in ambulance calls from locations other than casinos following initial implementation of the smoke-free law (which exempted casinos), but no significant change in calls from casinos. Following extension of the law to include casinos, there was a significant 19.1 percent decrease in calls from casinos, but no change in calls not coming from casinos.

"These results suggest that exempting casinos from smoke-free laws means that more people will suffer medical emergencies as a result," the authors write. "Our results suggest that applying smoke-free laws to casinos not only would prevent medical emergencies but also would reduce costs to the state, which may incentivize the passing of smoke-free casino laws."

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Specialties Diabetes & Endocrinology
Family Practice
Hematology & Oncology

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