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Press Room

Stronger smokefree legislation in Poland welcomed

Note: World Lung Foundation united with The Union North America. From January 2016, the combined organization is known as “Vital Strategies.”

(New York, United States and Warsaw, Poland) – Today the Ministry of Health of Poland and the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate launched a mass media campaign to build support strong amendments to the new national smoke-free law. The “Smokefree Workplaces, Pub” campaign was developed with technical assistance from World Lung Foundation.

The campaign advertisement is set in a typical Polish tavern and depicts imagery of a worker being exposed to secondhand smoke. It explains the harms such exposure causes and the benefits of smokefree bars to both patrons and workers. The campaign will air on both regional and national television across Poland for eight weeks.

Peter Baldini, Chief Executive Officer, World Lung Foundation said, “Just 30 minutes of exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk of heart disease in non-smokers. Campaigns such as those launched today have been effective in building support for policy change.”

According to the new Act on Protection of Health Against the Consequences of Consumption of Tobacco and Tobacco Products, smoking in many public places, including health care facilities, workplaces, bars, restaurants, public transportation and other public spaces, will be banned effective November 15th. The law however provides an option for designated smoking rooms, which do not fully protect people from secondhand smoke.

Baldini continued, “There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke so the only truly effective measure is complete, 100% smoke-free public places. We urge the Polish government to address this important legal flaw and hope the campaign will help inform the public about why this is needed.