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Global Momentum for Smoke-Free Indoor Environments at Tipping Point

ated, enclosed, ventilated smoking rooms, all have advanced the international public health goal of protecting people from involuntary exposure to second hand smoke.

“In short, the world has begun to reclaim clean air as the social norm,” the authors write. “For too long, the tobacco industry has spent billions to normalize, market, and glamorize a behavior that is now recognized as a tragic drug addiction.” They point out that changing the social norm will be critical to reversing the burden of tobacco-related illness that led to 100 million deaths in the 20th century and is projected to cause a billion deaths in the century ahead.

The authors also note that the 2003 World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the first international public health treaty, helped galvanize global commitment. The treaty, which calls for countries to adopt clean-air policies as well as other initiatives to promote tobacco control and decrease consumption, has been ratified by 145 countries.

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