IARC: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Smoke-free Policies (2009)
A handbook by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) was published in 2009 as part of a series of handbooks for cancer prevention. The guide addresses the effectiveness, impacts and evolution of smoke-free policies. The handbook is intended to support the design and implementation of smoke-free legislation in countries that are considering legal measures to create smoke-free environments. It especially acknowledges the need for smoke-free policies in many developing countries that are lacking effective smoke-free legislation.
Effective public policies are needed to regulate and eliminate involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke. The handbook draws conclusions of peer-reviewed literature from the late 1990s up to 2009 on the effectiveness on smoke-free policies and health effects of secondhand smoke to support the enactment of these regulations.
Body of evidence regarding smoke-free policies presented in the handbook covers
- the harmful health effects of the exposure to secondhand smoke,
- the economic impact for businesses in the hospitality sector,
- the level of public support and changes in attitudes towards smoke-free policies,
- outcomes and short-term health consequences of implemented regulations,
- effects that mandated restrictions have on smoking behavior, and
- benefits of voluntary smoking restrictions in households.
The handbook will benefit tobacco control programs especially at the enactment stage of a smoke-free policy or law. Understanding the importance of public awareness and political support is the key for successfully implementing smoke-free policies. To gain public acceptance for new legislation, and to reject and respond to strategies used by opponents, scientific evidence will be needed.
Creating smoke-free environments is one of the key objectives of the WHO FCTC, aiming to prevent exposure to secondhand smoke. Article 8 of the WHO FCTC provides guidelines for implementing a comprehensive smoke-free legislation, which are presented in the handbook. The guide also introduces a range of smoke-free policies that have been enacted and implemented all over the world, starting from the first smoke-free workplace regulations in the mid-1990s.
Source: IARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention, Tobacco Control, Vol. 13: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Smoke-free Policies (2009: Lyon, France).
Available at: http://publications.iarc.fr/Book-And-Report-Series/Iarc-Handbooks-Of-Cancer-Prevention/Evaluating-The-Effectiveness-Of-Smoke-free-Policies-2009