It seems pretty common sense, but a three-year study of a ban on workplace smoking in Pueblo, Colorado concluded the ban on smoking led to a decrease in the number of heart attacks (emphasis mine):
A smoking ban in one Colorado city led to a dramatic drop in heart attack hospitalizations within three years, a sign of just how serious a health threat secondhand smoke is, government researchers said Wednesday. The study, the longest-running of its kind, showed the rate of hospitalized cases dropped 41 percent in the three years after the ban of workplace smoking in Pueblo, Colo., took effect. There was no such drop in two neighboring areas, and researchers believe it’s a clear sign the ban was responsible.
I can’t presume to know the validity of the results of this study, but I do think it seems logical that cutting down or stopping smoking will increase the health of a population, especially when it comes to rates of cancer and heart disease, while in the process reducing strain on the health care system.
H/T to James Rowen.