Official data recently released by the NHS has revealed that there was a 2% decline in heart attack admissions for 2007/08, the year of the smoking ban, compared to the 40% reduction that the Government had previously claimed.
Actual NHS figures from 2007/08 are slightly lower than the 2.8% drop in 2006/07 and the 3.8% drop in 2005/06 for acute myocardial infarction.
“All declines in heart attack rates are hugely welcome and congratulated, but there is something a little more sinister about this one”, states Andy Davis, chairman of the pro-choice group Freedom2choose.
“I distinctly remember politicians from all parties welcoming the 40% drop in heart attack admissions for this year”, he continues. “One wonders why there is so much discrepancy from the actual figures.”
The Government, advised by ASH UK, had previously claimed that admissions for heart attacks had reduced by 40% during the first year of the smoking ban, and had attributed this entire reduction to smoking ban legislation. The official statistics (now released) clearly show that the ‘science by press-release’ was in fact, incorrect.
“The distortion of truth isn’t really surprising”, states Andy Davis. “A similar campaign occurred in Scotland where it was claimed that heart attack admissions had reduced by 17% since the smoking ban, yet official figures from ISD Scotland show that heart attack admissions are rising, reversing a previous downward trend.”
To access the NHS data, click on the link below.