Bhutan was the first country to ban the import and sale of tobacco, in 2004. But New Zealand is held up as the country to watch.
In the global race to eliminate tobacco smoking, New Zealand was first out of the stalls with its 1990 Smoke-free Environments Act. The law banned smoking inside public buildings such as schools, in workplaces and on public transportation. It extended restrictions on advertising and established an agency to replace tobacco-industry event sponsorship It remains a milestone achievement that the law became an exemplar during the writing of the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.