Anti-Smoking Education Causes Heart Attacks

May 25, 2006 at 5:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It is often claimed that smoking bans lead to immediate and substantial declines in a variety of health problems in the local area. The logic usually goes something like this:

  1. A smoking ban is passed
  2. Wait one year
  3. Note that hospital admissions for heart attacks declined during that year
  4. Associate the decline in heart attacks with the smoking ban
  5. Yeehaw! The ban saved lives!

That (il)logic is annoyingly common. Fortunately, it’s easy to counter with this specious reasoning: heart attacks in Nebraska declined a whopping 28.5% in the year following a substantial cut in state funds for the state’s anti-tobacco programs. Therefore, it is clear that anti-tobacco programs cause heart attacks. It must be true, the statistics say so. Or better yet, read the problems with this sort of logic for yourself.

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