A Global Voices for a Smokefree World report, released by the Global Smokefree Partnership on the eve of the World Health Organisation's World No Tobacco Day on 31 May, concludes that "there is no doubt that the future is 100% smokefree. City by city, state by state and country by country, people are winning comprehensive protection from secondhand smoke."
The report argues that more than 200 million people worldwide will be fully protected from secondhand smoke at work and in public places by 1 July 2007. "At least 65 million European citizens will be protected by 100% smoke free laws in Ireland and UK alone," said Fiona Godfrey of the European Respiratory Society.
However, the European Smoke Free Partnership warns that with each year EU governments delay taking action, "billions are left exposed to the lethal chemical cocktail of secondhand tobacco smoke, including some 390 million people living in other EU countries than Ireland and the UK." The alliance is thus urging all EU governments to "make all indoor workplaces and public places 100% smokefree without delay".
The theme of this year's World No Tobacco Day, smoke-free environments, is addressed in the Commission Green Paper on tobacco-smoke free environments in Europe (see EurActiv 30 January 2007). The EU-27 health ministers will hold, on 31 May 2007, their first exchange of views on how to promote smokefree air, and protect EU citizens from secondhand smoke. A public consultation on the issue is open until 30 June 2007.
To date (see a map), only Bermuda, Iran, Ireland, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Uruguay and Wales have implemented 100% smokefree laws protecting people from secondhand smoke in all public places and workplaces, including bars, restaurants, cafes and pubs. The US, Canadian and Australian subnational jurisdictions have introdced similar laws. 100% smokefree laws are those which include all indoor workplaces and public places and prohibit designated smoking rooms.