WHO adds Almaty among ten smoke-free cities

May 31. Xinhua. ALMATY

WHO adds Almaty among ten smoke-free citiesThe World Health Organization has listed Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city, among the 10 smoke-free cities in the world, health officials said Thursday.

“The WHO has officially included Almaty on its list of smoke-free cities along with Mecca, Medina, Liverpool, Mexico City and other cities,” Gulsara Suleimenova, director of the Almaty Center for Healthy Lifestyle, told reporters.

“Only ten cities in the world have been given the honor,” she said.

Kazakhstan launched a program called “Almaty: A tobacco-free city” in 2005-2011. The effort has driven the smoking level among the general population down 13.3 percent, 6.9 percent among young people aged 18-24, Suleimenova said.

On May 31, the world annually marks No Tobacco Day, a program initiated by WHO to promote no-smoking awareness.