June 1, 2017

2012 Indy Smoke Free Ordinance Making A Significant Health Impact

Tracy Robertson, Owner, Mass Avenue Pub. - Taylor Bennett/WFYI

Tracy Robertson, Owner, Mass Avenue Pub.

Taylor Bennett/WFYI

The Indianapolis smoke-free ordinance is making a significant impact on the health of residents.  Smoke-Free Indy is celebrating the fifth anniversary of the ordinance by releasing the results of a new study.

The study was co-authored by Dr. Yi Wang,  assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Health at the IU Fairbanks School of Public Health.  Wang compared heart attack admissions during a period of time before and after the ordinance was in effect, and found that monthly heart attack admissions declined 25 percent in Indianapolis and 20 percent in Marion County after the ordinance was in effect.

“The smoking ban appears to be effective in preventing acute AMI among the general population of Marion County and Indianapolis,” Wang says.

Data for the study was collected on heart attack admissions from five major hospitals in Marion County between May 2007 and December 2014.

Dr. Julie M. Clary, associate professor of clinical medicine at the IU School of Medicine, says research proves that smoke-free laws reduce the number of heart attacks and save lives..

“There’s conclusive, scientific  evidence that second hand smoke causes heart disease including heart attacks, so on behalf of my patients and myself, I’m very excited about these results," Clary says. "I’m very excited about the city of Indianapolis moving forward.” 

Tracy Robertson, is the owner of the Mass Avenue Pub. She says the ordinance has helped improve the workplace environment and the health of many people.

“Becoming smoke-free has made our lives better, and I would encourage all cities to consider the benefits of this healthier lifestyle. I believe it has made Indianapolis more progressive and a destination city and it has been a boom for our overall economy," Robertson says. "Thank you to all of you who worked so hard to get us to where we are today. We are truly grateful to you guys helping clear the air.”

Not all municipalities in Marion County are covered by a comprehensive smoke-free air law.  Speedway, Southport and Beech Grove are not smoke-free in all workplaces and public places.
The ordinance also made exemptions for cigar bars, most private clubs and off-track betting facilities.

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