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Tobacco laws decrease smoking

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NORTHBROOK, Ill., Dec 13, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A Finnish study published Monday suggested national tobacco control legislation helps reduce smoking and smoking-related diseases.

The study appears in the December issue of CHEST, the journal of the American College of Chest Physicians, located in Northbrook, Ill.

Finnish researchers analyzed and compared nationwide smoking prevalence rates from 1960 to 2000, lung cancer rates from 1980 to 2000 and respiratory disease rates from 1980 to 1998 to determine the effectiveness of the Finnish Tobacco Act of 1976, which banned tobacco advertising, restricted smoking on public premises, prohibited tobacco sales to minors, placed health warnings on packages, and gave .5 percent of tobacco sales taxes to smoking prevention programs.

The researchers found the number of men who smoked daily fell from 58 percent to 28 percent, and respiratory disease rates significantly declined as a result. The smoking rate of women, which had increased from 12 percent to 20 percent from 1960 to 1973, leveled off at approximately 20 percent following the passage of this act, while their smoke-related deaths decreased since the 1980s.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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