Smoking Bans

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List of smoking bans in various countries


England and Wales

Proposal to ban smoking in cars

BBC health editor Michelle Roberts shows her numeric illiteracy

On 16 Oct 2012, Michelle Roberts the purported health editor of the BBC swallowed wholesale a report by Dr Sean Semple, of the University of Aberdeen:

Smoking in the car, even with the windows open or the air conditioning on, creates pollution that exceeds official "safe" limits, scientists say.[1]

Unfortunately Ms. Roberts has been misled, and as a journalist, failed to fact-check her report:

She's lapped-up the 'smoking in cars must be banned' message without even bothering to look at the basic flaws in the scientific reasoning.

First, she mentions the WHO guideline air quality level for PM2.5 of 25 μg/m3 as a 24-hour mean. Then she identifies Aberdeen's background level for PM2.5 at 7.4 μg/m3. Ok, fine so far. Then she notes that particulate levels in a car with a smoker on journeys lasting from 10 minutes to an hour reached up to 85 μg/m3. R i i g h t. So if a child spends an hour a day in a car with a chain-smoker in Aberdeen, Michelle, what will its 24 hour mean exposure level be? And will this exceed the WHO recommendation? (The answers are 10.6 μg/m3 and 'No', Michelle)[2]

Progress of the England and Wales smoking ban in buildings

16 November 2004

Public Health white paper proposed a smoking ban in almost all public places.[3]

Smoking restrictions would be phased in, with a ban on smoking in NHS and government buildings by 2006, in enclosed public places by 2007, and with the restrictions on smoking in licensed premises introduced by the end of 2008. Up to 90% of public bars could be affected; smoking would still be allowed in pubs which limit their food sales to snacks such as crisps, rather than prepared meals.

There was supposed to be wide consultation, including with the catering and pro-smoking lobby.

26 October 2005

Government announces plans to go ahead [4]

All workplaces, including restaurants and pubs selling food, to have a ban in place by summer 2007, but non-food pubs and private members clubs would be exempt, and the concept of "smoking rooms" to be examined.

Ban to be reviewed within three years of being introduced.

Chief medical officer reconsiders resigning over the lack of a full ban. [5] Considers the fact he was "ignored" put him in a difficult decision - no mention of what sort of position others that were ignored were put in.

14 February 2006

Proposed extension to the ban to all enclosed public spaces except private members clubs voted through with a majority.

Subsequent proposed extension to include the ban private members clubs also voted through with a majority, overriding the previous proposal. This was then passed by the House of Lords.

30 November 2006

Ban announced to start the following July.

1 July 2007

A total ban on smoking tobacco products of any kind in an enclosed 'public' space or a space where 50% or more of the sides of the space were enclosed by walls introduced.

This includes, not only 'public' buildings, but 'buildings where members of the public might go' such as public houses (pubs), shops, and bus stops that fit the 50% sides rule. Even some phone boxes were covered by the ban.


In Cars - 27 June 2012

Minister for Health James Reilly was given the go-ahead to draw up amendments to a Seanad Private Members' Bill on the issue.[6]

He said he favoured introducing legislation, as early as possible next year, to ban smoking in cars when children are present.

The minister said the State had a duty of care to minors and he wanted to start a public debate on the issue.

However, he is not proposing a total ban, as suggested in some newspaper reports today.[7]

No thoughts on how this will be implemented if enacted since, as pointed out elsewhere[8] it's difficult to see if there are children in a car - certainly from a distance - so maybe sport-checks will be the order of the day?

Since this is going to be labor intensive then a full-ban on smoking in cars will be the next move.

United States

Being a smoker is not a category that is protected under [US] law [against job discrimination]" - Lisa Coulter, an attorney with Snell and Wilmer in Phoenix.[9]

Delray Beach, Florida - Ban on hiring smokers - 3 Oct 2012

It's too late for butts: a South Florida city has banned the hiring of employees who smoke or use tobacco products in an effort to save on insurance.

Delray Beach City Commissioners made official Tuesday a policy that refuses city agencies the right hire a person who has smoked in the year before employment.

The ban is meant to help save the cash-strapped city on health insurance premium fees. Human Resources director Bruce Koeser told NBC 6 that each smoker costs an extra $12,000 in health and disability-related costs. [10]

Santa Monica, California - Smoking in your own house - 12 July 2012

Tenants of multi-family housing complexes will be required to publically disclose if they smoke under new regulations adopted Tuesday in an initial 4-2 vote by the Santa Monica City Council.

The new rules—which require a second vote before becoming law—ban smoking in all newly constructed units and those left vacant after the new rules are officially adopted.


Units occupied by residents who fail to disclose their smoking statuses will automatically become "non-smoking." And, every unit that becomes vacant after the law is passed, will be designated "non-smoking"—regardless of its prior designation.

"You might as well hammer a big yellow S on their front doors," said McKeown.

Those who smoke in "non-smoking" units will face a $100 fine. Repeat offenders will be subject to citations as high as $500.[11]

Update 24 July 2012 - there appears to have been a temporary reprieve:

But the ordinance required a second vote before becoming law, and in what Mayor Richard Bloom called a "very unusual move," the ordinance failed on its second pass.

"What we’re simply doing is giving more thought to this," said City Councilwoman Gleam Davis, who was absent from the previous meeting.

Bloom and City Councilman Terry O'Day supported the rules July 10, but changed course Tuesday, saying they now believe the council needs to better assess how the smoking ordinance would affect medicinal marijuana users and landlords.


Councilman Bob Holbrook said he would not be deterred in his support for the regulations after receiving emails from longtime residents referring to him as a "Nazi" and "Hitler."

"My motive is strictly a public health measure," he said. "It’s just time that we made homes and living spaces safe for people... we [would] certainly save them a lifetime of diseases that’s going to occur for sure." [12]

Fort Worth, Texas - Proposed ban on hiring smokers - 16 April 2012

City employees who take a smoke break are fuming over a new idea to make Fort Worth a tobacco-free work place by not hiring smokers.


Mayor Betsy Price has made it her mission to make Fort Worth a healthier city.

"Certainly we put tax-payer dollars into health care for our employees, and anything that might benefit the health to make our employees more protective and healthy, we're going to take a look at," she said.

But in an informal report expected to be delivered during Tuesday's pre-Council meeting, the mayor said Fort Worth's human resources department is examining hiring policies as part of its overall health care strategy.[13]

Hospitals in general - Ban on hiring smokers - Feb 2012

Smokers now face another risk from their habit: it could cost them a shot at a job.

More hospitals and medical businesses in many states are adopting strict policies that make smoking a reason to turn away job applicants, saying they want to increase worker productivity, reduce health care costs and encourage healthier living.

The policies reflect a frustration that softer efforts — like banning smoking on company grounds, offering cessation programs and increasing health care premiums for smokers — have not been powerful-enough incentives to quit.

The new rules essentially treat cigarettes like an illegal narcotic. [14]

Humana, Arizona - Ban on hiring smokers - Jan 2011

The health insurer said Wednesday that it will no longer hire workers in Arizona who smoke or use other tobacco products, part of a trend of employers who are cracking down on tobacco use among workers.

To enforce the tobacco ban that starts Friday, Humana will test new employees for nicotine use during a pre-employment urine drug screen.

Humana representatives say it makes sense for a company in the health-care field to lead by example. Smoking's harmful effects on human health are well-documented, and Humana seeks to promote health and wellness — starting with its workers.

"Humana is dedicated to helping our employees take charge of their own health," said Dr. Charles Cox, Humana vice president and market medical officer for Arizona, Nevada and Utah.[9]

Cleveland Clinic - Ban on hiring smokers - Jun 2007

Pre-employment health evaluations for Cleveland Clinic job applicants now include Cotinine testing, in addition to the existing health and wellness screenings. The testing for Cotinine, a nicotine metabolite, is being incorporated as part of Cleveland Clinic's efforts to make the institution a healthy place to work and visit.

"As a leading healthcare organization dedicated to fighting disease and advocating healthy living, our policies and procedures must reflect that commitment," said Delos M. "Toby" Cosgrove, M.D. CEO and President of Cleveland Clinic. "Having banned smoking from our campuses and launched a communitywide program to promote smoking cessation, incorporating Cotinine testing is a natural extension of our efforts to highlight the perils of tobacco use."

An incremental rollout of the new policy, lasting through Sept. 1, will allow job applicants who test positive for Cotinine access to free, smoking cessation services. During this time, a positive test will not affect a person's employment status.

Effective Sept. 1, applicants will be informed of the policy when they apply for a job. The presence of Cotinine will be confirmed during the post-offer required physical exam. Applicants who test positive for tobacco products will not be considered for employment and will be referred to tobacco cessation resources paid for by Cleveland Clinic. After 90 days, applicants successful in quitting will be encouraged to reapply.[15]


Australia was the first country to legislate for plain packaging.

New Zeland


Vancouver - Parks - 1 September 2010

The Vancouver Park Board has voted to ban smoking at city parks and beaches.

The park commissioners voted in favour of the ban at a board meeting Monday night, acting on a staff recommendation to ban smoking in those areas for medical and environmental reasons.[16]


Russia joins the party - 15 Oct 2012

MOSCOW—The Kremlin is finally getting tough on Big Tobacco, with a determined push to pass strict anti-smoking rules in the world’s second-largest tobacco market.


A bill that would establish nationwide smoking restrictions similar to those seen in much of the West—such as limits on advertising and smoking in restaurants—is expected to be submitted to parliament on Nov. 1 for a vote early next year.

A separate effort to raise excise duties nearly 135% by 2015 has already passed a parliamentary committee.


In Russia, cigarettes cost a little over a dollar a pack, restaurants and bars are normally thick with smoke, and nearly 40% of the population (60% of men) light up, so the bill is a radical step.[17]