Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

Making cities smoke-free

World Health Organization

Publication details

Number of pages: 52
Publication date: 2011
Languages: Chinese, English, Russian, Spanish
ISBN: 978 92 4 150283 2


This publication is the result of a joint project between the WHO Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI) and the WHO Centre for Health Development (Kobe Centre). It is intended as a technical resource to assist Member States implementing Article 8 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and its guidelines in order to fully protect people from tobacco smoke.

More than 739 million people representing 11% of the world's population live in countries that have introduced comprehensive, national smoke-free laws, an increase of more than 385 million since 2008. An additional 210 million people (3% of the world’s population) are protected by comprehensive smoke-free legislation at the subnational level, an increase of almost 100 million since 2008. While national laws that protect all of a country’s residents from exposure are ideal, cities can often pass legislation sooner than countries. City leaders, as credible voices for their citizens, can also directly advocate for smoke-free laws at national level.

This paper draws on the experience of many different jurisdictions to provide practical information about how a city can become smoke-free. It is addressed to mayors and their staff, and other city officials to prepare and implement smoke-free legislation that is popular, complied with, and effective in improving health.