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MU's Dean Anderson Will Be Guest Speaker at Chamber Luncheon on March 13

Dean Anderson, policy special­ist from the University of Missouri-Columbia, will be providing an update on tobacco issues across the state of Missouri on Tuesday, March 13, at the Ava Area Chamber of Commerce Luncheon at the MOCH Wellness Center.

The luncheon will be held from 12 to 1 p.m. and lunch is free to all Chamber of Commerce members.

Missouri Ozarks Community Health Care Clinic in conjunction with the Douglas County Health Department and Missouri State University, Ozarks Public Health Institute Smokebusters teams in Ava will be serving taco salad and grapes.  Mr. Anderson will also discuss the latest research from the Institute of Medicine on the rela­tionship between secondhand smoke and heart attack rates.

Twenty-seven states, Washing­ton, D.C., and Puerto Rico have passed smoke-free laws that cover restaurants and bars.  For those 27 states the heart attack rates dropped after smoking bans and continue downward over time.

One year after passing smoke-free laws, communities in North America and Europe had 17 per­cent fewer heart attacks compared to communities without smoking restrictions, and the number of heart attacks kept decreasing with time, according to a report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

The report is a meta-analysis of 13 studies in which researchers examined changes in heart attack rates after smoke-free laws were enacted in communities in the United States, Canada and Europe. The researchers found that heart attack rates started to drop immedi­ately following implementation of the law, reaching 17 percent after one year, then continuing to decline over time, with about a 36 percent drop three years after enacting the restrictions.

For more information about secondhand smoke contact Shirley Emerson or Sonya Hodges, Health Educators at the Douglas County Health Department at (417) 683-4174.   Funding for this project was provided in part by the Missouri Foundation for Health, a philanthropic organization whose vision is to improve the health of the people in the communities it serves.

Smokebusters is a three-year program dedicated to promoting healthy, tobacco free environments by decreasing exposure to second­hand smoke and reducing tobacco initiation and use among youth through policy change.