Legislation that bans smoking in public indoor spaces was associated with a decrease in emergency department (ED) visits for asthma exacerbation children, according to a study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Over the last 30 years, cities and states have adopted legislation to ban smoking in public indoor areas to protect nonsmokers from the adverse effects of secondhand smoke. To see whether this law implementation was associated with a decrease in ED visits for asthma in children, study authors performed a retrospective analysis. They aimed to estimate the impact of clean indoor air legislation on the rate of ED admissions for pediatric asthma exacerbation using data from the Pediatric Health Information System. They used a Poisson regression for analyses and controlled for variables such as age, gender, race, payer source, seasonality, and secular trends. 

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From July 2000 to January 2014, a total of 335,588 asthma ED visits were captured from 20 hospitals. They found that indoor smoking legislation pooled across all cities was associated with a reduced rate of severe asthma exacerbation (adjusted rate ratio [aRR] 0.83 95% CI: 0.82–0.85; P<0.0001). “Such legislation should be considered in localities that remain without this legislation to protect the respiratory health of their children,” concluded lead author Christina E. Ciaccio, MD, MSc, assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Chicago.

For more information visit annallergy.org.