Table 3

 Secondhand smoke policies and laws by Region and country

FCTC, Framework Convention on Tobacco Control; SHS, secondhand smoke; WHO, World Health Organization.
African Region
South AfricaSmoking is banned in all public places including the workplace
TanzaniaEffective 1 July 2003, smoking in public places was banned. Under the Tobacco Products (regulation) Act 2003 it is illegal to smoke inside public transport, hospitals, schools, and many other public places
UgandaEffective March 2004, the environment minister imposed a smoking ban in all public places. Smoking in restaurants, educational institutions, and bars is an offence. Offenders will be fined between $10 and $50 if arrested by police, who have been instructed to enforce the law
Region of the Americas
ArgentinaPublic education activities began in 2003 in some provinces and municipalities in Argentina. Argentina has programmes where businesses can officially register as being smoke-free. The city of Buenos Aires has recently announced that restaurants and bars smaller than 100 square meters must be smoke-free in October 2006
BrazilSignificant public education activities began in 2003 in some municipalities of Brazil (for example Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, and the federal district of Brasilia)
CanadaSince 2003, three Canadian provinces and two territories have become smoke-free (requiring 100% smoke-free workplaces and public places including restaurants and bars). Most others will become smoke-free in 2006, including Ontario and Quebec, which combined comprise more than half of Canada’s population
Costa RicaLaws governing public places require facilities to designate smoking areas
MexicoLaws governing government and related federal facilities require facilities to designate smoking areas
Trinidad & TobagoTrinidad’s 100% smoke-free policies apply only to government facilities
United StatesAs of October 2005, 14 states have laws that require 100% smoke-free workplaces, restaurants, and bars
UruguayThe Region’s significant exception to weak policies is Uruguay, whose president announced in September 2005 that Uruguay would require all workplaces and public places to be smoke-free beginning in March 2006. If the implementation of Uruguay’s smoke-free policy is successful it will provide a model that other Latin American countries may soon follow. In addition, public education activities began in 2003 in Uruguay
Eastern Mediterranean Region
IranIn 2004, Parliament passed a bill prohibiting smoking in public places—mosques, cinemas, restaurants, department stores, public transport, and stadiums. The antismoking bill states the government is obliged to fight smoking by campaigning against financial, health, and social hazards of the habit to prevent youth from becoming addicted
Gulf StatesThere is a leading movement in the seven Gulf states in the area of SHS legislation; a great example can be found in the initiative of tobacco-free Mecca and Medina; which is based on tobacco-free public places and now moving toward a total ban of tobacco sales in the two cities
The ban of smoking in public places is based on a plan of action that was designed and put in place by the Ministry of Health in the year 2001; fortunately, it was supported by the governors of the two cities and was therefore implemented immediately. On-the-spot fines are imposed on violators and if repeated, other penalties are sometimes enforced. The legislation is also supported by wide national media and advocacy campaigns
In Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman the enforcement of anti-SHS legislation, in place since the nineties, is very strong, although the process of the WHO-FCTC will strengthen it further. In this group of Member States, the involvement of the Gulf Cooperation Council for Ministries of Health supported coordinating their activities and unifying the SHS measures taken in all seven countries
EgyptA ban of tobacco use in public places existed in the 1980s, but it was reinforced in 2002 with the adoption of new legislation. However, the ban is not being enforced, and its implementation depends largely on the administration in each facility and public place. The national authorities are working to strengthen the ban, and the adoption of the WHO-FCTC will support that process
European Region
AustriaA 2003 law prohibits smoking in classes, conference rooms, school sports buildings, buildings open to the public, schools or similar institutions open to children and young people, but there are no sanctions in case of violation
BelgiumAs of January 2006, smoking was banned in all enclosed workplaces and social facilities under the employer’s authority and to which workers have access
BulgariaIn 2005, a smoking ban for all public places took effect. Smokers are banned from lighting a cigarette at kindergartens, schools, cinemas, theatres, Internet clubs, and city transport. Taxi drivers and their clients can smoke only outside the taxi. Restaurants of more than 60-people occupancy are now obliged to provide separate areas for smokers and non-smokers. Smaller cafes must be equipped with air-conditioning systems. Fines of BGN 50 up to BGN 150 will be imposed for violations
Czech RepublicIn 2003, smoking was banned in public transport including indoor air spaces, during indoor work meetings, in workplaces where non-smokers could be exposed to tobacco smoke, in schools, health care facilities, and indoor sport areas (except dedicated smoking areas)
CyprusA 2002 ban prohibited smoking in all public places including places of entertainment, in all government buildings, public transport, and in private cars with passengers younger than 16
EstoniaThe Tobacco Act of 2001 was amended in 2005 to impose a complete ban on smoking in health care, education, and government facilities; indoor offices and workplaces (including bars and restaurants); and theatres and cinemas. However, in all of these places special smoking areas are permitted
FinlandThe Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is preparing amendments to smoking legislation aimed at curbing smoking in restaurants, to prevent employees being exposed to environmental tobacco smoke. This new tobacco law should take effect in summer 2006
GermanyA 2002 non-smokers protection act for workplaces excludes the hospitality industry and public areas. Smoking is not banned in trains, planes, public transportation, health care and government buildings, or schools.
IrelandIn 2004, Ireland banned smoking in a wide range of workplaces, including pubs, restaurants, offices, and shops. The law does not apply to hotel bedrooms, prisons, or psychiatric hospitals. Fines are foreseen for violators
ItalyA 2005 ban on smoking included all enclosed public places such as bars and restaurants. Businesses face a fine of up to €2000 if they fail to ensure their customers do not smoke, while smokers themselves could face a fine of up to €275 for repeatedly ignoring the new rules. The new rules allow smoking in special sealed-off areas fitted with smoke extractors; however, many bar owners say fitting the automatic doors and forced ventilation systems required by law is too expensive
LatviaPlans call for a complete ban on smoking in public places including bars and restaurants in 2006
MaltaA 2004 law bans smoking in any enclosed private or public premises that is open to the public except in designated smoking rooms, including bars and restaurants. The present ban is a total ban because the smoking areas are enclosed and totally separated from non-smoking areas
NetherlandsIn 2002, the tobacco law was amended to restrict smoking in public places, workplaces, and public transport. In 2004, smoke-free workplace legislation came into force but included exceptions: areas designated for the public in hotels, bars, and restaurants (hospitality industry), and entertainment facilities
Northern Ireland, UKWorkplace smoking legislation, similar to that in Ireland, was introduced in 2005
NorwayA 2003 clean indoor air provision bans smoking in all workplaces including transportation, bars, and restaurants
PolandA 1995 law on the protection of public health against the effects of tobacco use was amended in 1999 and 2003 and now includes a smoking ban in public places
Scotland, UKA ban on smoking in public places in Scotland has been confirmed and is set to take effect in March 2006. The ban will prohibit smoking in pubs, bars, and restaurants. Licensees failing to enforce the ban will face fines up to £2500 and customers caught smoking could be fined £1000
SwedenA ban on smoking in public places including all restaurants, bars, and cafes was introduced in 2005. The law allows for the possibility of building a separately ventilated designated smoking room where no food or drink is served
Southeast Asia Region
BangladeshSmoking was banned in public places under a high-court verdict and other government regulations since the 1980s. The Bangladesh Tobacco Control Act 2005 made provisions to ban smoking in public places in a comprehensive manner. The law has identified educational institutes, government, semi-government, and autonomous offices, libraries, lifts, hospitals and clinics, court buildings, airports, sea and naval port buildings, railways station buildings, bus terminal buildings, ferries, theatres, covered exhibition centres, public toilets, government and non-government parks and other places as government-designated smoke-free public places. The law has also identified all public transport including motor, bus, train, tram, ship, launch or any motorised vehicle as government-designated smoke-free transport. Under this law, smoking places have also been designated
BhutanA smoking ban in public places was introduced 1 March 2005. The ban forbids people from lighting up at government offices, hospitals, schools, parks and shopping centres, among other places
DPR KoreaLaws and regulations ban smoking in restaurants, shops, and railway station waiting rooms
IndiaUnder the India Tobacco Control Act 2003, smoking in public places and public transport has been banned. The law also defined public places and public transport where smoking has been banned. In addition, the state governments have even more stringent laws banning smoking in places like airports and other workplaces. Court orders also ban smoking in public places
IndonesiaA 1991 Presidential Decree declared that a Ministry has to designate, guide, and implement the availability of smoke-free environments. It has also made provisions for banning smoking in public places and other areas such as health facilities, religious facilities, workplaces serving children, and public transportation. The Ministry of Internal Affairs in Indonesia in 1989 banned smoking in schools. The Ministry of Health in 1990 provided instructions on smoke-free workplaces and in 1991 smoking was prohibited for land, sea, and air transportation. The Gubernatorial regulation in Jakarta province was issued in June 2005 to support regulation on air pollution control which will take effect from February 2006. The regulations are mostly aimed at those responsible for smoke-free zones — owners of buildings, offices, schools, houses of worship, and operators of public transportation vehicles. Affected public places include government and private offices, bus terminals, train stations, malls, airports, shopping centres, hotels, and restaurants. Trains, taxis, buses, and public minivans have been declared smoke-free. The law requires those responsible to either declare their premises a smoke-free zone or designate at least one special smoking area located away from other rooms, and it mandates follow-up on violations
MaldivesLegislation prohibits smoking in health facilities, educational institutes, government buildings, and other public places like sports complexes and stadiums, air conditioned restaurants, and public transportation
MyanmarSmoking has been banned at hospitals, schools, sports stadiums, fields, training camps, and all types of health facilities. The Public Health Law protects the environment from air pollution arising from such factors as tobacco
NepalSmoking has been banned in government offices, health facilities, and some public places since June 1992. Smoking has also been banned on flights and in airports
Sri LankaA ban on smoking has been enforced in state institutions and state transports. Sale of tobacco in state canteens also has been prohibited since 1999
ThailandGlobally, Thailand has been a pioneer in secondhand smoke legislation. The Non-Smoker’s Right to Protection Act (1992) prohibits smoking in public places, public buses, taxis, and air-conditioned trains, and also states that smoke-free areas in trains and restaurants must constitute at least 50% of the total area. The country has also banned smoking on flights and now the Acts and Regulations partially ban smoking in restaurants
Western Pacific Region
AustraliaSmoking is banned in most public places and workplaces throughout Australia
The governments of the Australian Capital Territory and the state of South Australia have announced their intention to introduce legislation to ban smoking in all restaurants and bars. The New South Wales government is considering a similar proposal. Smoking in Western Australia’s nightclubs was limited to 20% of the venue from July 2004. A complete ban in all enclosed places is expected to be introduced by the end of 2006
ChinaA smoking ban in public transport is actively enforced in major city subways. National railways ban smoking on passenger trains and in waiting rooms at railway stations throughout the country. More than 500 railway stations have become smoke-free
FijiSmoking is banned in government buildings, hospitals, health care facilities, and theatres, and the government has stepped up efforts to promote and enforce these bans. However, there are no bans on smoking in restaurants
JapanA voluntary based restriction on smoking is being enforced in an increasing number of schools, hospitals, restaurants, municipal offices and workplaces under Health Promotion Act since May 2003. The national government has encouraged administrators of public places including workplaces to take the lead in implementing smoking restrictions
MongoliaSmoking is banned in public places and workplaces, and restricted to separate smoking areas in all other indoor areas, with a system of fines. However, the ban and restrictions are widely ignored and unenforced
New ZealandSmoking is banned in most workplaces. The law was extended to include restaurants and bars from December 2004
Philippines2004 tobacco legislation bans smoking in all public places, enclosed buildings. Several cities have expanded the ban to all indoor areas
SamoaSmoking is banned in all government buildings and hospitals, but enforcement is weak. The government has tried to promote voluntary smoke-free policies for public transport such as taxis and buses
SingaporeSmoking is banned in most workplaces and public places. Plans for 2006 will extend bans to cover virtually all indoor areas and nature reserves
South KoreaAs of March 2003, game rooms, internet cafes and restaurants with an area more than 150 square meters are required to designate non-smoking sections, occupying at least half of their establishments. Owners must also ensure the non-smoking sections remain absolutely smoke-free by installing walls, screens, or ventilation facilities. In addition, smoking is completely banned in all hospitals and schools, as well as outdoor subway platforms, train passageways, and office hallways and bathrooms. These are some of the measures included in the revised regulations of the nation’s health promotion law
TongaSmoking is banned in government buildings and health care facilities. The government plans to expand smoke-free policies to all public places and workplaces, enclosed restaurants, and public transport
TuvaluSmoking is banned in government buildings and health care facilities. The government plans to expand smoke-free policies to all public places and workplaces, enclosed restaurants, and public transport
Viet NamIn January 2005, the Minister of Transport and Communications signed a directive prohibiting smoking in offices and reception rooms of the ministry and public places, including stations, airports, ports, and public transportation