International Issues

Smoke-Free Laws

"The evidence is clear, there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke. I urge all countries that have not yet done so to take this immediate and important step to protect the health of all by passing laws requiring all indoor workplaces and public places to be 100% smoke-free."
— Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization

No Safe Level of Secondhand Smoke

There is a fast-growing movement around the world to adopt 100 percent smoke-free laws that ban smoking in all work and public places.

Public health authorities worldwide have concluded that there is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure. Secondhand smoke causes serious diseases and premature death. Secondhand smoke has been proven to cause lung cancer, heart disease, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), low birth weight, and serious respiratory conditions.

Scientific evidence is clear that the only effective way to protect workers and the public from secondhand smoke is to enact 100 percent smoke-free laws that ban smoking in all indoor workplaces and public places, including restaurants, bars and other hospitality venues. Other approaches, such as providing designated smoking areas and separate ventilation, do not provide adequate health protection.

Smoke-Free Laws Easy to Implement

Smoke-free laws have proven to be popular with the public and easy to implement and enforce. Studies show these laws quickly improve health and do not harm business.

Article 8 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control requires Parties to the treaty to adopt effective smoke-free laws to protect citizens from exposure to tobacco smoke in workplaces, public transport and other indoor public places. Guidelines adopted by the treaty's governing body make it clear that only 100 percent smoke-free laws meet the treaty requirements