Latin America leads global progress developing new smoke-free policy

16 Nov 2010

Read the full GSP press release below

Latin America leads global progress developing new smokefree policy

Punta del este, Uruguay, November 15 – In the past two years the number of countries that have implemented comprehensive smoke-free laws has more than doubled and Latin America remains at the forefront of global progress, says Global Smokefree Partnership’s Status Report on Article 8.1.

The report is being launched at the Fourth Conference of the Parties of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), being held in Punta del este, Uruguay, 15-20 November.

More than 60 countries around the world have adopted strong national or local smoke-free laws. Charting worldwide progress that proves that smokefree laws work anywhere in the world, the Global Smokefree Partnership urges governments to meet their obligations under the FCTC to enact and enforce 100% smokefree policy.

Recent additions to the growing list of countries with comprehensive smoke-free laws include Colombia, Guatemala, Paraguay, and Peru, with Honduras implementing its law in early 2011.

Through the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), governments have unanimously agreed that the only effective way to protect their citizens from the harm of second-hand smoke is to create 100% smoke-free indoor public places. Guidelines for Article 8, adopted at the Second Conference of the Parties, summarize the basic principles of effective smokefree laws. Based on experience implementing successful policy around the world, they are:

1. Eliminate tobacco smoke to create 100% smoke-free places
2. Protect everyone, not allowing exemptions
3. Use legislation, not voluntary measures
4. Provide resources for implementing and enforcing the law
5. Include civil society as an active partner
6. Monitor and evaluate smoke-free laws
7. Be prepared to amend the law if needed.

Recent smokefree progress proof of effectiveness

In the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados both became smoke-free in 2010. In 2010 Syria became the first Arab state to ban smoking, including water pipes, in all indoor public places and workplaces.2 Greece is the latest addition in Europe.
In several countries the progress in smoke-free is being driven by action in sub-national jurisdictions.
Many cities, states, provinces and other territories, most notably in the Americas and Western Pacific, have adopted and enforced comprehensive or strong smoke-free laws. These laws can be very effective, and are often easier to implement and enforce than national laws.

Growing momentum for a healthier world

As more and more countries take action, the momentum for progress in smoke-free policy continues to grow. Experiences shows that: smoke-free laws protect health; they are supported by the public; with adequate planning and resources, enforcement is straightforward; and profits and jobs in the hospitality sector remain safe.3

Low- and middle-income countries suffer most from the tobacco epidemic. A growing number of them are showing that smokefree laws work anywhere in the world, and enforcing them is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce the enormous and growing burden of non-communicable disease. 2
1 Griffith G, Cardone A, Jo C, Valdemoro A, Sebrié E. Implementation of smoke-free workplaces: challenges in Latin America. Salud Pública de México 2010;5: supplement in press
2 Personal communication Hani Algouhmani, Framework Convention Alliance.
GSP congratulates the countries and sub-national jurisdictions worldwide that have adopted and enforced strong and effective smoke-free laws, or are planning to in the near future.

In spite of progress, challenges remain

Hundreds of millions of people around the world are now protected from second-hand smoke, but the majority of the world’s population still is not adequately protected. 3 For example, although most indoor workplaces and public transport are covered by national legislation in most countries, settings such as private workplaces and hospitality venues – in particular bars, nightclubs and restaurants – have low levels of protection in many countries.

Governments need to take action to strengthen their existing smoke-free policies and laws to protect their citizens. GSP strongly urges governments to act now to adopt and enforce comprehensive smoke-free laws in line with Article 8 guidelines.

Mapping smoke-free policy

The Global Smoke-free Partnership has compiled the second edition of The Article 8 Status Report to present at COP-4. Working with FCA Regional Coordinators, GSP also monitors the status of smoke-free laws around the world. It regularly updates the smoke-free map on its website (

More information

Download: Key facts on Article8 [Adobe Acrobat PDF – 306.59 KB]

Download: International experts underline the importance of 100% smoke-free legislation around the world [Adobe Acrobat PDF – 245.89 KB]

For more information contact Laura Salgado in Uruguay: tel (from abroad) +598.099.180.956, (from Uruguay) 099.180.957;

Notes to Editors

About The Global Smokefree Partnership
The Global Smokefree Partnership is a multipartner initiative formed to promote effective smokefree air policies worldwide. The Partnership is hosted by the American Cancer Society and the Framework Convention Alliance. Partners include Action on Smoking and Health – DC, Action on Smoking and Health London, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Cancer Research UK, HealthBridge India, International Union Against Cancer, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Institute for Global Tobacco Control, Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer, Promoting Action for Smokefree Environments (APALTA), Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Smokefree Partnership Europe, Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance, World Heart Federation, World Lung Foundation. 3
3 Global Smoke-free Partnership. Global voices status report 2009. Rebutting the tobacco industry, winning smoke-free air.

Related News

View All News >

Stay informed with our newsletter

Follow us

Loading latest posts...