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The Global Voices for a Smokefree World Campaign is being conducted in the lead-up to the second session of the Conference of the Parties (CoP-2) to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). For this meeting, government representatives from around the world will gather in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, from 30 June to 7 July 2007, to discuss the implementation of the FCTC. Among other topics to be discussed will be guidelines for the implementation of Article 8 of the FCTC, which deals with protection from exposure to tobacco smoke.
Initiated by the Global Smokefree Partnership, a new multi-member initiative to promote effective smoke-free air policies worldwide, the Global Voices Campaign seeks to gather support among policy makers for the Article 8 guidelines to be adopted at CoP-2. These guidelines will be non-binding recommendations for the implementation of Article 8 to the Parties of the FCTC – countries that have signed and ratified the treaty – and should represent the best practices necessary to protect people from secondhand smoke exposure.
The goals of the Global Voices Campaign are to mobilise non-governmental organisations’ support for best-practice smoke-free air laws, to raise awareness of smoke-free issues in the media, and to build support among policy-makers for strong and effective Article 8 guidelines. The latter will also support another goal, country-level implementation of comprehensive smoke-free air laws in accordance with the guidelines.
Colleagues from around the world, both individuals and organisations, will be calling on their governments to support and implement all the provisions of the draft Article 8 guidelines, to make a healthier, smoke-free world. By signing onto the campaign, individuals and organisations signal their support of eight campaign principles, which mirror the provisions of the draft guidelines. These principles state that secondhand smoke is a significant health hazard; that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, nor any safe alternative to 100% smoke-free public places and workplaces; and that ventilation, air filtration systems and designated smoking areas or rooms do not protect people from secondhand smoke. They also state that everyone should be protected from secondhand smoke, and that all workers have the right to work in smoke-free workplaces. They further state that legislation without exemptions is needed to protect people from the dangers of secondhand smoke; and that effective enforcement, implementation and monitoring provisions are necessary components of effective legislation.
Signatures supporting these aims will be presented to delegates at the COP meeting in Bangkok. Those wishing to join the Global Voices campaign can sign up at www.globalsmokefreepartnership.org/globalvoices to add their voice or to get more involved with the campaign.