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Nepal: Smoking in Public Places to Be Banned

(Nov. 18, 2008) It was reported on November 6, 2008, that the Government of Nepal soon plans to introduce a law banning smoking in public areas, some two years after the country's Supreme Court had mandated formulation of such legislation. Studies indicate that 49 percent of men and 29 percent of women in Nepal are smokers. According to Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bamdev Gautam, “places for smoking will be designated. If anyone smokes outside such designated places, he/she will be fined.” (Law in the Offing to Ban Smoking in Public Places, NEPALNEWS.COM, Nov. 6, 2008, available at

Almost all Asian jurisdictions, including Nepal, have signed and ratified the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control; Indonesia is an exception. (World Health Organization, Appendix VI: Status of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, WHO REPORT ON THE GLOBAL TOBACCO EPIDEMIC, 2008 (Feb. 2008), available at In South Asia, Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka all have bans on smoking in public places to varying degrees. (Appendix II: Global Tobacco Control Policy Data, WHO REPORT, supra, available at

However, according to the WHO REPORT ON THE GLOBAL TOBACCO EPIDEMIC, 2008, of some 38 jurisdictions in Southeast Asia and the western Pacific, only two, Bhutan and New Zealand, have smoke-free legislation in place that covers all types of public places and workplaces. (Appendix II: WHO REPORT, supra.) Taiwan (which is not covered in theWHO report), under a law amended in 2007 that will enter into force in January 2009, expands upon what is already a rather extensive ban on smoking in public areas (see art. 15). (THPCA Amendments Passed Third Reading on June 15 of 2007, Promulgated by the President on July 11 of 2007, Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada website,
(last visited Nov. 12, 2008).)