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Growth of Smoke-Free Air Laws Worldwide; More Than 200 Million Found "Fully Protected"

Atlanta - A new report released today documents the explosive growth of smoke-free air laws worldwide and finds that more than 200 million people are now protected by laws that require smoke-free air in workplaces and public places. The report concludes that the momentum behind smoke-free air laws will continue accelerating because a global treaty ratified by 146 nations requires governments to protect the public from secondhand smoke.

The report, Global Voices for a Smokefree World, was released today by the Global Smokefree Partnership, a new multi-partner initiative formed to promote effective smoke-free air policies worldwide, to coincide with the World Health Organizations World No Tobacco Day, which focuses attention this year on the importance of smoke-free air.

'Great progress is being made globally in protecting people from the harms of secondhand smoke. Whole countries are going smoke-free one after another, and the laws are proving to be a huge success,' said John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society. 'Countries like Ireland and Uruguay are leading the way, and were seeing real action now.'

The report shows that nine countries have laws that require smoke-free air in workplaces, including all restaurants, bars and pubs: Ireland, Uruguay, New Zealand, Bermuda, Iran, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Englands law takes effect July 1. France, Italy, South Africa and Hong Kong have implemented smoke-free laws covering most workplaces. In the United States, 9 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. have implemented laws covering all workplaces, including restaurants and bars, and three more states have passed laws that will take effect over the next year.

Smoke-free air laws outside the United States are getting a boost from the worlds first public health treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The FCTC is now law in 146 countries, representin
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