-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Prison smoking bans
significantly reduce inmates' risk of death from tobacco-related
conditions such as cancer and heart disease, a new study finds.
Researchers analyzed data from U.S. state prisons and found
rates of smoking-related deaths among inmates were 9 percent lower
in prisons with smoking bans, and 11 percent lower in prisons where
smoking bans had been in place for more than nine years.
Inmates in prisons with smoking bans were 19 percent less likely
to die of cancer and 34 percent less likely to die of lung disease
than those in prisons with no smoking bans, according to the study
published online Aug. 5 in the
"These findings suggest that smoking bans have health benefits for people in prison, although bans impose limits on individual autonomy and many people resume smoking after release," the researchers wrote.
The investigators called for more research and increased use of
programs "to promote effective long-term cessation in prisons and
after release as part of a comprehensive tobacco strategy for this
Study author Ingrid Binswanger, an associate professor in the
department of medicine at the University of Colorado School of
Medicine, and colleagues noted that 50 percent to 83 percent of
prison inmates smoke, a much higher rate than is seen in the
The most common causes of smoking-related deaths among inmates
are lung cancer, heart disease, stroke and chronic lung disease,
the study authors added.
The number of states with prison smoking bans rose from 25 in
2001 to 48 in 2011, according to a journal news release. Among
those in prison, death rates from smoking-related causes dropped
from 129 per 100,000 inmates in years prior to a ban to 110 per
100,000 inmates during years with a smoking ban.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about
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