Fourteen Embassies and International Organizations have pledged their support to ensuring an environment free of tobacco smoke in public places to protect the health of the population in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Pledge signatories have committed to support the introduction of legislation providing for smoke-free indoor public spaces. They also have committed to ensure that public events they host are smoke-free and to support efforts of pioneering business owners who have made their businesses smoke-free in BiH.
Every year around 9,000 people die in BiH due to tobacco-related diseases; 900 of these people are passive smokers, including children, who are exposed to second-hand smoke from smokers around them and in public places. If no action is taken, 180,000 people will die prematurely of tobacco-related diseases in BiH in the next two decades. This regrettable loss of lives has a major impact on families, communities and the country as a whole, and the cost of treating smoking-related diseases is a major burden to the whole society.
The Pledge for a smoke-free public environment has been promoted by the World Bank in partnership with the Embassy of Switzerland. The Pledge has been signed by the Delegation of the European Union to BiH and the embassies of Switzerland, Czech Republic, Romania, Norway, Slovak Republic, Netherlands, Germany and United Kingdom, as well as by the World Bank, World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).