5 countries with strict smoking bans

TORONTO – Starting in December there will be no more labels on cigarette packages in Australia.

Australia’s highest court upheld a law to replace current cigarette packaging with a standard olive-coloured design complete with health warnings.

Tobacco companies argued that the law destroys their brand value and violates intellectual property rights.

They say they’re worried the law will set a global precedent that could slash billions of dollars from the values of their brands.

The government hopes the new packaging makes smoking as unglamorous as possible, and says the decision is a victory for those who lost a loved one to a tobacco-related illness.


Last month, Saudi Arabia banned smoking in government spaces and several public places, including supermarkets, coffee shops and restaurants and prohibits selling tobacco to those under the age of 18.

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The country has already banned smoking in its airports last year.

In Canada, smoking is banned in almost all enclosed public and indoor workplaces across the country. In 2007, Nova Scotia became the first province in the country to pass legislation banning smoking in cars with children and teenagers. Shortly after, similar legislations came into effect in Manitoba, Ontario, and British Columbia.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 600,000 people die each year from exposure to second-hand smoke.  Global News takes a look at five countries with some of the most severe cigarette
packaging laws and smoking bans in the world.


In 2004, Bhutan became the first nation in the world to ban the sale of tobacco and to outlaw smoking in all public places. In June 2010, the country implemented one of the world’s strictest anti-tobacco legislations by forbidding the sale or smuggling of tobacco into Bhutan. Those found guilty of the offence serve can serve a prison term of three to five years with no chance of being granted bail.

Costa Rica
In 2012, Costa Rica passed one of the strictest smoking regulations in the world. Legislation prohibits lighting up in taxis, buses, trainer, public buildings, bars, casinos and workplaces. Smoking is also banned from all enclosed public-access buildings, and no separate “smoking areas” are allowed. The country has seen surprisingly high compliant rates since the ban came into effect.


In 2009, Colombia extended its anti-smoking regulation to include indoor workplaces and public places. The use of terms such as “mild” and “light” were also banned on advertisements and packaging.

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Uruguay became the first Latin American country to prohibit smoking in public places, including restaurants, bars and the workplace in March 2004. In 2008, a campaign was started to promote not smoking at home and in cars in the presence of children.


Malaysia has banned smoking in several public spaces, including hospitals, airports, public toilets, government premises, Internet cafes and government premises. As of June 2010, those caught smoking in private office space with air conditioning can be fined up to RM10, 000 (approximately $3,200 CAD) or two years of imprisonment.

– with files from The Associated Press

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