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14 July, 2024
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Nations unite for a tobacco-free tomorrow

From Portugal to Mexico, countries take bold steps towards a smoke-free generation

Source: Money Review

There is a growing number of countries implementing measures to curb smoking, to eradicate the habit in future generations. Portugal, Canada, Australia, France, New Zealand, Mexico, and the UK are among those taking steps to create a smoke-free generation.

The motivation behind these measures is clear: the significant health burden on both smokers and passive smokers leads to inflated health costs. The World Health Organization (WHO) labels smoking as 'one of the greatest threats to public health the world has ever faced,' estimating that at least 8 million people die annually due to smoking-related causes.

Numerous countries, including Greece, have already banned indoor smoking, with Ireland pioneering this move in 2004. The next phase seems to involve extending the bans to outdoor spaces, including e-cigarettes and vapes.

According to the World Economic Forum, the push for stricter anti-smoking measures has intensified in recent years, partly due to the increased strain on healthcare systems following the pandemic. Some countries moving in this direction include:


Aiming for a smoke-free generation by 2040, Portugal has proposed a bill to restrict tobacco sales and outdoor smoking. If passed, the legislation will prohibit smoking outside restaurants and public buildings, with tobacco sales limited to special shops and airports from 2025. The measures also cover e-cigarettes, accompanied by reduced advertising and promotions.


Canada shares a similar vision, targeting a reduction in cigarette use to less than 5% by 2035. The Department of Health plans to mandate warning messages directly on cigarettes to achieve this goal.

New Zealand and Australia:

Both countries aspire to a smoke-free generation. New Zealand banned cigarette sales to those born from 2009 onwards and introduced measures to limit sales near schools. Australia's largest state, Queensland, plans to create smoke-free public places and impose stricter rules on e-cigarettes.


French President Emmanuel Macron is committed to the first generation of smokeless cigarettes, including raising pack prices. Prime Minister Elizabeth Bourne announced a ban on disposable e-cigarettes, popular among young people.


Mexico introduced one of the strictest anti-smoking laws, banning smoking in all public places. Strict enforcement allows smoking only in homes, with a complete ban on any cigarette promotion.


Proposed rules in the UK, likely effective in 2024, aim to prohibit anyone under 14 from legally purchasing cigarettes. The legal age of purchase will increase annually, with restrictions on sales and marketing to children.

Cyprus  |  World  |  smoking

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