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A new report released on 10 july in panama city by the world health organization (who) shows that one-third of the world's population – 2.3 billion people – are now covered by at least one life-saving policy measure to curb tobacco use. This is more than twice the global population covered by a key tobacco control measure when who released their initial report on the global tobacco epidemic report five years ago in 2008.


As of 30 June 2013, The Union Middle East Office in Cairo, Egypt will close; however, support for tobacco control partners in the Middle East will continue through the Department of Tobacco Control and local consultants. Other Union activities related to tuberculosis and lung health, as well as the work of members of The Union Middle East Region, will not be affected.


With its new strong tobacco control law going into effect as of 1 June, Russia is poised to become a leader in the global fight against smoking – but how can the law be enforced? How, in a country where one-third of the people smoke and some 80% are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke? These are the challenging questions that face the National Ministry of Health team and others across the country charged with enforcement. A recent Union workshop gave them both the tools – and confidence – that they will need to succeed.


Buenos Aires set a Guinness World Record and raised awareness of the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke by giving 4,300 people carbon monoxide tests on World No Tobacco Day.


On 1 June 2012, a revised law went into effect in Bulgaria that bans smoking in all enclosed public spaces. This is a considerable achievement given that a complete smoking ban was originally passed in 2009, only to be repealed in 2010 due to tobacco industry interests within the incumbent government.


The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) congratulates the Russian Federation on the adoption of a comprehensive tobacco control law, signed into force by President Vladimir Putin on 25 February 2013. The law includes establishment of 100% smokefree environments, bans on giveaways and sponsorship, restrictions on point-of-sale displays, and measures to limit tobacco industry interference.


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The Tobacco Control Department is based at The Union Europe Office, Edinburgh, registered charity no. SC039880
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