Laws to make England more smoke-free laws have been introduced all over the countryin the last few years, as they have been in other American and European cities. The health benefits for these new rules were meant to protect those who were at risk for second-hand smoke, such as bar workers, salon stylists, and just about anyone who was in a confined space with a smoker.

Smoking in all public places was banned in England in July 2007. The prevalence of asthma in England is one of the highest in the world, affecting almost six percent of the population.

Previous studies have looked at total admissions for asthma-related ER visits and have found that the reduction since 2007 was around 24 percent for all age groups. This number includes children that consist of the majority of asthma-related admissions.

A recent study published in Thorax found that between 1997 and 2010 there were 502,000 emergency admissions where there was a primary diagnosis of asthma. By statistical analysis, the researchers who wrote the study found that close to 1,900 asthma-related ER visits were prevented in the first year after the legislation was passed. The numbers of prevented emergency visits were consistent across the second and third years after the laws were instituted.

Interestingly, the percent of asthma-related ER visits in this study was lower than was seen in studies undertaken in other areas, such as New Zealand and the state of Kentucky. The authors of this study suggest that the stark disparity can be traced to the fact that they used more stringent statistical methods and a far larger sample group than previous studies.

"Our results are consistent with published work that the introduction of smokefree legislation in England is associated with a reduction in SHS [second hand smoke] exposure among non-smoking adults," the report stated.