Conference on Tobacco Control Treaty Urged to Adopt 100% Smoke-Free Policies as Global Health Standard



    Release By Global Smokefree Partnership and Campaign for Tobacco-Free
    Kids

    WASHINGTON, June 27 /CNW/ -- Advocates are urging governments to commit
to adopting 100 percent smoke-free workplaces and public places when their
representatives convene at a major global conference in Bangkok, Thailand,
June 30-July 6. Governments are meeting to set standards for implementing the
international tobacco control treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco
Control.
    There is already a growing global movement to enact smoke-free policies
that prohibit smoking -- and deadly secondhand smoke -- in indoor workplaces,
restaurants, bars and other public places. On July 1, England will become the
latest country to implement a national smoke-free law, joining the rest of the
United Kingdom. As a result, more than 200 million people worldwide will be
protected by 100 percent smoke-free laws.
    The Bangkok meeting, convened by the World Health Organization, is
critical to expanding the smoke-free movement to all nations.
    Health advocates want official delegates to adopt international standards
and push for comprehensive smoke-free laws as the only effective way to
protect people from secondhand smoke. The proposed standards state that "there
is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke," that only "100 percent smoke-
free environments" can protect health and that "all people should be protected
from exposure to tobacco smoke."
    These standards will serve as best practices and shape how governments
should meet their treaty commitments.
    "All people have a right to breathe smoke-free air," said Cassandra
Welch, coordinator of the Global Smokefree Partnership, a multipartner
initiative that promotes effective smoke-free air policies worldwide.
"Smoke-free is the future, but the pace of change depends on what governments
do at this critical meeting. If strong, science-based standards are adopted
calling for 100 percent smoke-free workplaces and public places, we can save
millions of lives worldwide."
    The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control took effect in February 2005
and has been ratified by 148 countries.
    The treaty commits ratifying nations to implement scientifically proven
measures to reduce tobacco use that include: banning all tobacco advertising,
promotion and sponsorship (with an exception for nations with constitutional
constraints); placing large, graphic health warnings on cigarette packs;
implementing measures to protect non-smokers from secondhand smoke; increasing
tobacco product prices; combating cigarette smuggling; and regulating the
content of tobacco products.
    Article 8 of the treaty, on protection from exposure to tobacco smoke,
states, "Parties recognize that scientific evidence has unequivocally
established that exposure to tobacco smoke causes death, disease and
disability."  It calls on ratifying nations to support measures "providing for
protection from exposure to tobacco smoke in indoor workplaces, public
transport, indoor public places and, as appropriate, other public places."
    "Only laws that require comprehensive indoor smoking bans are effective,"
said Shoba John, Chairperson of the Global Smokefree Partnership. "The
scientific evidence is indisputable that secondhand smoke causes premature
death and serious diseases in both adults and children who do not smoke. There
is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke."
    Secondhand tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, including at
least 69 known to cause cancer.  Health authorities around the world have
concluded that secondhand smoke causes lung cancer, heart disease and serious
respiratory illnesses among adults and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS),
low birth weight, respiratory infections, ear infections and asthma attacks in
infants and children.

    More information:
    WHO Tobacco Free Initiative: http://www.who.int/tobacco
    Global Smokefree Partnership: http://www.globalsmokefreepartnership.org

    Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids International Resource Center:
http://www.tobaccofreecenter.org





For further information:

For further information: Brian Bonner (Washington, DC), +1-202-481-9380,
 or Mark Hurley (Bangkok), +1-202-460-2679, both of Campaign for Tobacco-Free 
Kids and the Global Smokefree Partnership Web Site:
http://www.globalsmokefreepartnership.org                 
http://www.who.int/tobacco                  http://www.tobaccofreecenter.org

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GLOBAL SMOKEFREE PARTNERSHIP

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