Hospital Admissions for Childhood Asthma after Smoke-Free Legislation in England

A study published in the online version of Pediatrics examined “whether the implementation of English smoke-free legislation in July 2007 was associated with a reduction in hospital admissions for childhood asthma.” The authors used Hospital Episodes Statistics data consisting of children (aged ≤14 years) needing to be hospitalized due to asthma. “Before the implementation of the legislation, the admission rate for childhood asthma was increasing by 2.2% per year. After implementation of the legislation, there was a significant immediate change in the admission rate of −8.9% and change in time trend of −3.4% per year. This change was equivalent to 6802 fewer hospital admissions in the first 3 years after implementation. There were similar reductions in asthma admission rates among children from different age, gender, and socioeconomic status groups and among those residing in urban and rural locations. These findings confirm those from a small number of previous studies suggesting that the well-documented population health benefits of comprehensive smoke-free legislation appear to extend to reducing hospital admissions for childhood asthma.”