Vital Strategies’ effective and innovative campaigns address the topics that shape global health.


Smoke-Free Air


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Case Study

Vital Strategies Helps to Fight for Smoke-Free Policies Where They Are Needed Most

Hundreds of millions of people worldwide are exposed to harmful secondhand smoke in public places like restaurants, offices and parks. This exposure causes over 1.2 million deaths annually from tobacco-related illnesses. Comprehensive smoke-free laws that prohibit smoking in all indoor and outdoor public spaces are a proven way to protect people and denormalize smoking behavior. Since 2007, an additional 1.6 billion people in 57 countries have gained protection through robust smoke-free legislation, though two-thirds of countries still lack such laws.


Vital Strategies has partnered with government agencies, including ministries of health and mayors, to develop media campaigns supporting the introduction, strengthening and enforcement of smoke-free policies worldwide. In China, for example, our campaigns have contributed to 10 cities with 130 million people enacting comprehensive smoke-free laws. Our work has also helped achieve smoke-free status in cities across Vietnam, India, Mexico, Indonesia and Ukraine through mass media efforts highlighting secondhand smoke dangers.


Our campaigns aim to change social attitudes, build support for legislation, and increase compliance after laws are passed. These evaluation surveys show the campaigns are effective – for example, in Vietnam, 90% of smokers exposed to the campaigns said they were more likely to comply with smoke-free rules. Strong media engagement is vital for holding the policies accountable and encouraging enforcement of smoke-free regulations.


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