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On February 22, 2013, the Sofia Globe noted that a report had been issued by the European Commission (EC), which found that "28 per cent of Europeans were exposed to second hand smoke in bars in 2012, down from 46 per cent in 2009." The article stated that, "The report is based on self-reporting by the 27 member states of the EU, following the 2009 Council Recommendation on Smoke-free Environments, which called on governments to adopt and implement laws to fully protect their citizens from exposure to tobacco smoke in enclosed public places, workplaces and public transport."

U.N. Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases

On September 19th and 20th, New York hosted a high-level meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations, to discuss a global strategy for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. This meeting offered a unique opportunity for the international community to adopt measures against the epidemic, to save millions of lives and to improve development initiatives.

ANR and our partners, colleagues, members, and friends were present to support the efforts in New York September 17 – 20 and encouraged the U.N. to stay engaged in the smokefree movement. The World Health Organization calls smokefree laws a "best buy" for reducing NCDs. We know what works; we know smokefree laws are good for health and good for business; we strive to keep the momentum going by making our voices heard. We encourage you to contact us to get involved, or consider a donation to support our International Efforts.

New in 2011: WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2011: Warning About the Dangers of Tobacco

ANR is a member of the Global Smokefree Partnership (GSP). Visit GSP for more information and global updates. You can also use the drop-down menu on the left for updates and news on specific countries.

In December 2009, the World Health Organization released its WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2009. The report concluded that, "Only 5.4% of the world's population was covered by comprehensive smoke-free laws in 2008, up from 3.1% in 2007." WHO Assistant Director-General for Non-communicable Diseases and Mental Health Dr. Ala Alwan stated, "The fact that more than 94 percent of people remain unprotected by comprehensive smoke-free laws shows that much more work needs to be done." The WHO estimated that secondhand smoke exposure causes approximately 600,000 deaths per year.

On February 7, 2008, the WHO released a new report showing that while progress has been made, not a single country fully implements all key tobacco control measures. The report presents the first comprehensive analysis of global tobacco use and control efforts, based on data from 179 countries. Only 5% of the world’s population live in countries that fully protect their population with any one of the key measures that reduce smoking rates.
More about the global tobacco control report.

Many cities and entire countires around the world have already implemented smokefree workplace laws. Smokefree discussions are underway in dozens of other nations. Article 8 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), ratified by at least 146 countries, provides clear guidelines for countries to enact smokefree workplace laws.

International Activity

The World Health Organization (WHO) released a new report, Policy recommendations on protection from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke on 29 May 2007. The report states that there is no safe level of exposure to second hand tobacco smoke and encourages all countries to pass 100% smokefree regulations. "The evidence is clear, there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke," said the WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan. "Many countries have already taken action. 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."

Smokefree air activity is taking place not just in the United States, but is increasing all over the globe. In 2004, Ireland, Norway, and New Zealand became the first countries to enact comprehensive smokefree indoor air laws. In 2006, Uruguay became the first South American country to implement a 100% smokefree regulation in workplaces, restaurants, and bars. Other countries throughout Europe, Asia, North and South America, and the Pacific have taken action to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke in workplaces and public places.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently reported that Ireland's smokefree air law has had no negative economic impact and that more and more countries are considering smokefree laws.

On November 6, 2008, the WHO reported a decision by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly to make all indoor premises, including regional offices, country offices, and its New York City headquarters, smokefree and to eliminate cigarette sales on the premises.

As the world moves faster toward smokefree environments, ANR’s expertise and experiences are in high demand. Your support will help ANR provide services directly to countries and to attend FCTC negotiating meetings.

International Movement for Smokefree Movies

Are you tired of seeing gratuitous smoking in films, particularly youth-oriented movies? If so, join thousands of people worldwide in signing a global petition against tobacco use in youth/child-rated movies. Tell Hollywood: The whole world is watching.

Thanks to the Internet, Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights has been able to work with our colleagues across the globe to enact smokefree regulations, and expose tobacco industry tactics tested in the United States, and exported to other countries. In addition to our website, ANR's newsletter is an effective means for us to communicate these issues with our international partners. Visit our secure server and subscribe today!

Please select a country from the drop-down menu on the left for more specific information.

Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)

The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), a landmark treaty adopted by the World Health Assembly in 2003 to reduce tobacco-related disease and death around the world, went into effect on February 27, 2005. As of September 6, 2006, 168 countries have signed the treaty, and 138 countries have become Parties. For the FCTC to become effective, 40 countries were needed to ratify the treaty.

On May 10, the United States reluctantly became the 108th country to sign FCTC under pressure from public health groups, but it has not actually ratified it. The signing of the treaty has only symbolic significance unless the United States Senate ratifies it. Because the United States supported adoption of the treaty only reluctantly, it is not at all clear that the administration intends to fight for its actual ratification and implementation.

The FCTC seeks to reduce tobacco-related health disparities around the world by imposing restrictions on tobacco advertising, sponsorship and promotion; by establishing new packaging and labeling requirements on tobacco products; by passing smokefree indoor air laws to protect the public from secondhand smoke exposure; and by strengthening tobacco smuggling legislation.

"The momentum growing around the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control seems unstoppable. It demonstrates the importance placed by the international community on saving many of the millions of lives now lost to tobacco. I look forward to more countries joining the 40 states that are making it possible for this Treaty to become law," said Dr LEE Jong-wook, WHO Director-General.

On October 14, 2005, the WHO urged all countries who have not yet signed and ratified to the treaty to do so, before the deadline passes for them to be considered "full Parties in the governing body for the WHO FCTC, the
Conference of the Parties (COP), when it meets for the first time early next year."