After a law on smoking in enclosed public places and workplaces in England went into effect in July 2007, there was a 12.3% drop in the number of admissions for childhood asthma in the first year, according to analysis published in the journal Pediatrics.

The effect was equivalent to 6,802 fewer hospital admissions in the first three years of the legislation, according researchers.

The authors believe that exposing children to less second-hand smoke in these settings probably played in important role in reducing asthma attacks.

“There is already evidence that eliminating smoking from public places has resulted in substantial population health benefits in England, and this study shows that those benefits extend to reducing hospital admissions for childhood asthma,” noted Christopher Millett, PhD, from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London. “The findings are good news for England, and they should encourage countries where public smoking is permitted to consider introducing similar legislation.”