Smoking Ban and Diet Delights

Smoking cessation and diet changes lead to better health

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) There's no better day than today to change your diet and quit smoking. Benefits from these lifestyle changes appear to take effect within months.

A study from the University of Liverpool examined data using historical evidence and clinical trials and determined that smoking bans lead to health benefits for individuals and communities within six months of initiation. Researchers also found plant-based diets give the same benefits within one to three years of initiation.

"Quit smoking and move to a plant-based diet to improve health."

Simon Capewell, professor at the Institute of Psychology, Health and Well-being reports that moves to a plant-based diet and bans on smoking yield benefits quite quickly; within months to a few years, not decades as was once believed. He encourages public policies be put in place to encourage both of these behaviors.

Some high points of their historical review:

  • During the 1900s, coronary death rates gradually climbed and eclipsed in the 1970s. There is a glitch in the data, though.
  • During the 1940s, when World War II food rationing programs made meat and animal fats less available, there rise slowed.
  • Poland experienced a similar increase in heart disease incidence in the 1900s until 1990. Then, there was a quick 25 percent drop in heart disease occurrences, which was attributed to communist nations ceasing to subsidize meat and animal fats, which in turn flooded the markets with cheap fruit. Other Eastern European nations experienced the same trend.
  • A smoking ban in Scotland accounted for a 17 percent decrease in hospital admissions related to acute coronary syndrome. Out of the hospital, there was also a 6 percent decrease in death attributed to the syndrome.
  • A similar trend occurred in Helena, MT, when a smoking ban led to a 40 percent decrease in hospital admissions for acute coronary syndrome in a six month period. Once the ban was repealed, the admission rates went back to "normal" in six months.

This research is published in The Lancet.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
September 1, 2011
Last Updated:
September 6, 2011