31 July 2013

Auckland Council with its plan to “de-normalise smoking behaviour” and make the city smoke-free seems to be marching to a beat with international reverberations.  The Irish Health minister has announced an intention to join New Zealand, Niue, Sweden and Denmark in being smoke free by 2025. Scotland is aiming for 2034 and Finland by 2040.  The prohibitions on smoking in New Zealand prisons (opposed by the High Court) and the Waitemata DHB psychiatric ward (with High Court endorsement) may generate increasing momentum.

Results of a Gallup survey in the United States published last week show that strong enthusiasm for smoking constraints continues. More Americans than ever want to ban smoking outright: 55% would outlaw smoking in all public places. Nearly half a century after the US Surgeon General’s report that smoking was harmful to health, 82% say smoking is very harmful and 59% believe that second hand smoke is very harmful.

Smoking is already banned in Bhutan as it is seen as bad for Buddhist karma.