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Tobacco smoke is an established cause of lung cancer, heart disease and other maladies, and smoking has been called one of the nation's leading causes of death.
The science on the impact of smoking bans is younger. Because it takes years or even decades for cancers to develop, there's little information on the impact of bans on cancer rates. But studies have already charted declines in adult heart attack rates and in childhood asthma attacks after smoking bans were adopted in some communities.
The American Heart Association's chief executive, Nancy Brown, said the CDC report brings good news. But she said advocates have a lot of work ahead of them to make the 2020 prediction come true.
"It's too soon to rest on our laurels," she said, in a prepared statement.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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