Sargent et al: American College of Cardiology Study
On Tuesday, April 1, 2003 in Chicago at the American College of Cardiology Annual Scientific Sessions, Richard P. Sargent, MD, presented the findings from an important new clinical study from Helena, Montana that provides empirical evidence that comprehensive smokefree indoor air laws can significantly reduce the risk of heart attack.

Here are some talking points and resources might be helpful for answering media inquiries about this study:


* While it has been recognized that secondhand smoke significantly increases the risk of heart disease and heart attack, this new study shows that a comprehensive smokefree indoor air law reduces heart attacks immediately.

* The study, conducted in the six months that Helena, Montana enforced a comprehensive smokefree air law for enclosed public places and workplaces, shows that heart attacks dropped by 60% in the Helena area when adjusted for seasonal fluctuation, while other areas adjacent to Helena, but without smokefree air laws, showed no change.

* Anyone who is interested in public health -- indeed anyone who is interested in their own health should take these findings seriously and take action. With evidence like this mounting, smokefree air in enclosed workplaces and public places is a matter of common sense public health. It is simply the right thing to do.

* This study validates the importance of local public policy action. From once-secret internal documents, we know that the tobacco industry and its allies try to enact state legislation to strip away the authority of local policymakers and boards of health to address this health hazard.

* Over 1600 U.S. communities have enacted local smokefree air ordinances with dozens providing for smokefree air in all enclosed workplaces, including restaurants and bars, according to the ANR Foundation Local Ordinance Database (chart available at:

Study authors: Richard P. Sargent, MD, Robert M. Sargent, MD, and Stanton A. Glantz, PhD.

Bronson Frick
Associate Director
Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights
American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation
2530 San Pablo Avenue, Suite J
Berkeley, CA 94702
(510) 841-3032 phone
(510) 841-3071 fax