Smoking restrictions

    Public areas in cities across six regions and states of Myanmar are due to be designated tobacco-smoke-free zones this year, according to a story in The Myanmar Times.

    Under the plan, smoking will be banned in hospitals, schools and pagodas in cities in the regions of Mandalay, Yangon, Sagaing and Magwe, and in the states of Kayin and Shan.

    Dr Than Sein, Public Health Foundation chair, said the plan would be implemented with the co-operation of the regional and state governments.

    “We will designate smoke-free areas in public locations to prevent youths from smoking and to protect from diseases that are caused by passive smoking,” he said.

    Meanwhile, the Times story quoted U Naing Win Tun, a smoker of Mandalay, as saying that the plan was good in that it was a way of protecting the health of children, the elderly and women. “But, there should be a plan for smokers, and smoking zones should be designated for them,” he added.

    The World Health Organization’s report, World Health Statistics 2017, which was published on Wednesday, indicated that Myanmar was one of the worst countries for air pollution. Its toxic air accounted for 230.6 deaths per 100,000 people, the report said, whereas the equivalent number in Mexico was 23.5 per 100,000 and in Sweden it was 0.4 per 100,000.