[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 November, 2004, 12:58 GMT
Smoking curbs: The global picture
As the UK unveils plans to restrict smoking in public places, find out what other countries are doing to curb the habit.

Click on the map to find out more:

AustraliaBhutanCanadaFranceUnited KingdomUSAIrelandNorwayNetherlandsMontenegroIranIndiaTanzania


Smokers are now no longer be able to light up on Manly, one of Australia's most famous and picturesque stretches of surfing beach.

Other Sydney areas - including the world-famous Bondi Beach - are reported to be considering following the Manly ban, which came into effect in May.

Smoking is already banned in all airports, government offices, health clinics and workplaces in Australia.

Restaurants and shopping centres in most states and territories are also smoke-free zones.


The remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is thought to be the first country to introduce a total ban on tobacco sales.

All shops, hotels, restaurants and bars are no longer allowed to sell tobacco products, with severe penalties imposed on those who flout the law, including a fine and the loss of their business licence.

Foreigners selling tobacco to locals will also be punished.

A tax is being levied on all tobacco products brought into the country for personal consumption by Bhutanese.

The government eventually wants Bhutan to be a smoke-free nation.


Smoking levels in Canada are some of the lowest in the world, with some 21% of Canadians over the age of 15 reported smoking in 2002, according to Canadian government statistics.

Public health experts say the decline has been driven by tough anti-smoking measures adopted in recent years.

In addition to bans on smoking in workplaces and many public places, cigarette packets bear graphic images of the damage done to internal organs by smoking.


France attempted to cut smoking levels by raising the price of cigarettes by 20% in October 2003.

The move provoked a strike from furious tobacconists, many fearing being forced out of business by smokers crossing borders to buy cigarettes in neighbouring countries.

Analysts say the plan was driven by government concern that smoking levels were not declining fast enough in France, and a need to fill an 6.5bn euros ($8.5bn/ 4.6bn) shortfall in the country's health budget.

Despite the price hike, correspondents reported no noticeable difference in Paris' traditionally smoke-filled cafes and bars.


India has been tightening laws on smoking in public places in recent months in an effort to curb high levels of tobacco addiction - to little effect.

Indian man smoking
Anti-smoking laws in India are widely flouted

Recent laws have banned direct and indirect advertising of tobacco products and the sale of cigarettes to children. Anyone caught breaking the law will be fined 200 rupees ($4.40/ 2.40).

According to a 1996 survey reported by AP news agency, 112 million people smoke tobacco in India, while 96 million use tobacco products like chewing tobacco.

However the BBC's Abhishek Prabhat says a lack of money and resources has meant such anti-smoking measures have not been enforced.


Iran banned smoking in public buildings and tobacco advertising in October 2003 - but both measures have had little effect.

Smoking was banned in religious and administrative buildings, as well as hotels, restaurants, airports, cinemas and sports centres.

Despite this, the ban has reportedly had little effect with the laws rarely enforced. Statistics show smoking is on the rise among young Iranians.


Ireland imposed tough anti-smoking legislation in March, banning smoking in pubs, restaurants and other enclosed workplaces.

Anyone caught smoking in a prohibited location now faces a fine of up to 3,000 euros ($3,895/ 2,100).

Despite fears the ban would be widely flouted, BBC correspondent James Helm reported most smokers in pubs adopting a pragmatic view and popping outside to the street or beer garden for a puff between pints.


The union of Montenegro and Serbia has one of the highest rates of smoking in Europe, with 40% lighting up regularly.

In August 2004, the Montenegran part of the union decided to introduce a sweeping ban on smoking in public places, in the hope of overturning an established culture of smoking in offices, restaurants, bars and on buses.

Now under the new rules, which are due to take effect in early 2005, tobacco advertising and the portrayal of smoking on television will also be banned.

The Netherlands

A tough crackdown on smoking from 1 January this year saw cigarettes banned from many public places including railway stations, trains, toilets and offices.

The government has warned hotels, bars and restaurants that they face similar measures by 2005 unless they adopt their own controls on smoking.

Some 30% of the Netherlands' 16 million population are smokers - a higher rate than all other European Union countries except Spain, Greece and Germany.

The government wants to reduce the total by 5% over the next three years.


Norway imposed a national ban on smoking in restaurants, bars and cafes from 1 June 2004.

The government says the ban is to protect staff working in these establishments from passive smoking and to "de-normalise" smoking as a social pastime.

Tobacco advertising has been prohibited in Norway for 30 years and a packet of cigarettes costs 70 kroner ($11/ 6).

Despite this, one in three people smoke cigarettes, and there has been a rise in tobacco-related deaths.


Tanzania banned smoking in many public places in July 2003, with smoke free zones declared on public transport, as well as in schools and hospitals.

The government also banned the selling of tobacco to under 18s and advertising on radio and television and in newspapers.

Health officials said they hoped the ban would "create an environment that will help to make the society a non-smoking one".

United Kingdom

After resisting calls to ban smoking in the workplace, instead preferring a voluntary approach from employers, the government has shifted its position.

It now favours a ban for almost all enclosed public areas including offices, factories, cafes, restaurants and most pubs in England within a few years. Wales is likely to go down the same route.

Scotland plans to have a comprehensive ban on smoking in all enclosed public places in force by the spring of 2006.

About 30% of adults under the age of 65 smoke in the UK, according to recent research conducted by Imperial College in London.

An estimated 42% of people under the age of 65 are exposed to tobacco smoke at home and 11% at work.

The issue of passive smoking has been at the centre of an intense debate between pro and anti-smoking groups, with each side contesting the validity of each other's statistics.

United States

Many cities and states are considering - or already enforcing - bans on smoking.

California has some of the toughest and most extensive anti-smoking legislation anywhere in the world.

A ban on smoking inside or within one and a half metres of any public building came into force in 1993 - recently extended to six metres. Smoking is also banned in restaurants, bars and enclosed workplaces - and on beaches - throughout the state.

In New York, smoking has been banned in bars, clubs and restaurants since March 2003.

Anti-smoking laws have provoked a strong debate in the US. Some bar owners say their businesses are suffering and smokers say their rights are being infringed, while non-smokers delight in a fresher environment.

Should smoking be banned?
28 May 04 |  Africa
Q&A: Passive smoking
25 Nov 03 |  Medical notes


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific