Hungary’s public places and workplaces smoke free from January 2012

The Hungarian Parliament passed legislation that will make public places, restaurants, bars and other workplaces in the country smoke free starting in January 2012.

Strong evidence indicates that making public places smoke free greatly benefits health, and governments are finding that the health gains from taking action outweigh the perceived political costs. Each year, tobacco leads to 30 000 premature deaths in Hungary, and 2300 deaths are due to second-hand smoke. In addition, Hungary’s rate of lung cancer in men is the highest in the world.

Tobacco is the leading risk factor for premature death in the WHO European Region, causing about 1.6 million deaths a year.