Panel on Tobacco Smoke risks

January 31st, 2014

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The fact that every fifth citizen of Serbia believes that the control over the implementation of the Law on Protection of Population from Tobacco Smoke Exposure should be increased and that most citizens support the implementation of this law, speaks about the need for serious decision-makers, media and professional public in our country to protect citizens from exposure to tobacco smoke. Since the adoption of the law on restrictions on smoking in public places, the percentage of people who have reduced the number of cigarettes has increased, and fewer people are exposed to tobacco smoke.

The Office for Smoking Prevention of the Institut for Public Health of Serbia “Dr. Milan Jovanović Batut” together with the Commission for Tobacco Prevention and other partners, will mark the National Day without Tobacco Smoke (31st January), with series of activities. From January 28th till February 2nd, in the “O3ONE” Gallery will be opened an exhibition of winning works from the art competition “Cities without tobacco smoke”. “Within the campaign, numerous promotional activities will be organized throughout Serbia, educational TV spots will be broadcast and the public will be introduced to the concept of healthy cities”, Dr. Biljana Kilibarda – Head of the Office for Smoking Prevention.

Hundreds of cities around the world are successfully implementing laws that prohibit smoking in all closed public and workplaces, and among these cities are New York City, Mexico City, and Buenos Aires.

One of the measures to protect the health of the population is that every city administration should apply for the universal and comprehensive protection from exposure to tobacco smoke. Only the environment of 100 percent without tobacco smoke can protect people from the harmful effects of tobacco smoke ingredients. Special smoking rooms are not an effective solution, even when they have their ventilation.

“City without tobacco smoke” 1 is a city that has adopted and enforced laws that prohibit smoking in indoor spaces, workplaces, all closed public spaces, and public transport, without or with very few exceptions.

There is no scientific evidence that confirms the negative economic impact of laws that prohibit smoking in public and workplaces.

In Serbia, one-third of the adult population smokes, while 41 percent of sixteen-year-olds have smoked at least one cigarette. The problem of smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke is recognized in our country as the most important factor for many diseases. Globally, 12% of all deaths among adults over the age of 30 are associated with the use and exposure to tobacco smoke. Statistics show that more than five million people a year suffer from tobacco use, and it is estimated that this number will increase by 2030 to eight million per year.

Office for Smoking Prevention

Since the foundation in April 2006, the Office for Smoking Prevention with partners actively works on education and raising awareness of the population against tobacco smoke. There are numerous campaigns, seminars, conferences, production, and distribution of promotional, printed material and manuals, as well as multimedia advertising. Thanks to their innovative approach to the campaign, they have won numerous awards, including the World Health Organization Award for Best Anti-Smoke Campaign.

The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Serbia provides financial support for the work of the Office for Smoking Prevention from the budget fund and supports the activities and actions. The Commission for the Prevention of Tobacco Use is in charge of expert opinions, information exchange, and activities and actions, while the Institute for Public Health of Serbia “Dr. Milan Jovanović Batut” provides professional and technical support.