Introducing laws banning smoking in enclosed public places can lead to swift and dramatic falls in the number of children with asthma attacks admitted to hospitals, a study in England found.

Researchers at Imperial College London found a 12.3 percent fall in hospital admissions for childhood asthma in the first year after laws against smoking in enclosed public places and workplaces.

Similar anti-smoking legislation has been introduced in many other countries, including in the United States where it has also been linked to a reduction in childhood asthma emergencies.

"The findings are good news ... and they should encourage countries where public smoking is permitted to consider introducing similar legislation," said Christopher Millett from Imperial's school of public health, who led the study.

Asthma affects more than 300 million people worldwide and is the world's most common children's chronic illness. Symptoms include wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing and chest tightness. In Britain, it affects one in every 11 children.

Read more from Reuters.

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