UN health agency welcomes ban on smoking at world body’s New York headquarters

6 November 2008

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) today welcomed a General Assembly resolution to ban smoking and tobaccos sales at the world body’s headquarters in New York, saying the decision will protect the health of delegates, employees and visitors.

That resolution, passed on Monday, notes the harmful impact of second-hand smoke, which can lead to disease, disability and death.

It called for a ban on indoor smoking and the sale of tobacco products at Headquarters, and also recommended a similar prohibition at all UN premises, including regional and country offices.

According to a WHO report released in February, tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death, claiming more than 5 million lives annually through lung cancer and heart disease, among other ailments.

The study also stressed that there is no safe level of second-hand smoke.

“By banning smoking and the sale of tobacco products on UN premises, the Member States set a tremendous example,” said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan.


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