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Laos' old capital of Luang Prabang won a World No Tobacco Day Award from WHO

Laos' old capital of Luang Prabang won a World No Tobacco Day Award from the World Health Organization (WHO) for its efforts to make the city smoking-free, the The Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance said Friday.

"The Laos People's Democratic Republic, has once again proven their commitment to this global health treaty", alliance director Bungon Ritthiphkdee said, referring to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

"Without the close cooperation between government and civil society, the implementation of Smoke-free Luang Prabang would not succeed," she added. Luang Prabang was the royal capital, and seat of the Lao monarchy until 1975, when Laos went communist. City officials initiated the smoke-free program in March 2007, after the former capital was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The smoking ban applies to all tourist attractions, government workplaces, private areas such as restaurants, guest houses, hotels, internet shops, handicraft and souvenir shops, and public places such as the night market.

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