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More countries expected to join WHO smoke-free workplace campaign

By Wang Xiaodong | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-09-04 20:39

More countries in the Western Pacific region are expected to join a campaign launched by the World Health Organization to encourage companies to create 100% smoke-free workplaces, following Vietnam and China, the WHO said.

The "Revolution Smoke-Free" campaign, initiated by the WHO Regional Office in the Western Pacific, was launched in Vietnam on World No Tobacco Day in May and in China on July 16, Kate Lannan, coordinator of the Tobacco Free Initiative, WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific, said.

"We are currently preparing case studies of the early adopters to introduce on the campaign website. The companies that have made pledges are mapped on the campaign site, as will future pledgers," Lannan said. "A series of country-level campaign launches are planned across the region to invite and motivate more companies to join the campaign and share their stories," she said.

The private sector has an important role to play in protecting public health, Lannan said.

"That is why WHO wants to invite businesses to change our workplaces, protect our workers and clients, and promote smoke-free environments as a global standard to which every responsible company must strive," she said.

As of July 15, a total of 56 Chinese companies based in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Chongqing, covering over 400,000 employees, had participated in the campaign, Kelvin Heng, a technical officer at the WHO China Representative Office, said.

All of the pledged companies confirmed that their offices in China are already 100% smoke-free, he said.

WHO has provided guidelines and campaign brochures to support these companies in maintaining the good work, particularly on enforcement of the smoke-free policy and to support employees who wish to quit smoking, he said.

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