WMA Resolution to Prohibit Smoking on International Flights

Adopted by the 43rd World Medical Assembly Malta, November 1991
and rescinded at the WMA General Assembly, Santiago 2005

  • WHEREAS the World Medical Association has adopted the "Statement on Health Hazards of Tobacco Products" calling for the prohibition of smoking, and
  • WHEREAS national medical associations have the recognition and the credibility to promote a tobacco-free society and have the responsibility to work for quality health care for all, and
  • WHEREAS the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), affiliated with the United Nations, is the body which establishes standards for international civil aviation for 162 member countries, and
  • WHEREAS it is essential to urge governments worldwide to support adoption of a standard by ICAO requiring smoke-free flights worldwide.


  1. National medical associations urge prompt adoption of bilateral or multilateral agreements requiring smoke-free international flights between specific countries, while supporting the long-term objective of adoption of a smoke-free standard by ICAO.
  2. National medical associations meet with government officials responsible for policy that regulate international commercial airline flights and urge them to support an ICAO standard for smoke-free flights.
  3. National medical associations write to their country's ICAO representative urging them to initiate or support a standard for smoke-free flights (list attached).
  4. National medical associations urge their Minister of Transportation to initiate bilateral or multilateral agreements banning smoking on all flights.
  5. National medical associations contact their Minister of Health and members of parliament or congress to solicit support for the initiative.
  6. National medical associations send a summary report to the WMA Secretariat regarding the result of actions taken to achieve the goal of banning smoking on all commercial flights so that ideas can be shared.

    The World Medical Association wishes to express its appreciation to the American Cancer Society for supplying the information on which the resolution to "Prohibit Smoking on International Flights" is based.


    Thirty-three nations make-up the ICAO Council, which is ICAO's executive decision-making body. While support from all nations is needed to achieve an international airline smoking ban, it is especially important for groups within the 33 ICAO Council-member nations to make their views known. The 33 nations, and the names of their representatives, are as follows:

    Argentina R.F. Cardoso
    Australia B. Weeden
    Brazil C. Pinheiro
    Canada G. H. Duguay
    Chile J.B. Lavin
    People's Republic of China Li Keli (Alternate)
    Czechoslovakia O. Vodieka
    Egypt M.A. Abulmagd
    Finland V.M. Metsalampf
    France P. Henault
    Germany U. Gartner
    Ghana J.O. Koranteng
    Honduras C.A. Vasquez Rodriguez
    India V. Pattanayak
    Indonesia A. Boediman
    Iraq S.A.A. Al-Khayat
    Italy O. Stea-Antonini
    Japan T. Fujita
    Madagascar A. Razafindramisa
    Mexico J. Perez y Bouras
    Netherlands A.C.H. van Schelle
    Nigeria D.O. Eniojukan
    Pakistan E.A. Qureshi
    Saudi Arabia S. Al-Ghamdi
    Senegal P. Diouf
    Spain L. Androver
    Trinidad and Tobago M.E. Nancoo
    Tanzania Dr C.V. Mpinga Mgana
    Venezuela Dr L.E. Vera Barrios
    Tunisia A. R. El Hicheri
    USSR I.F. Vasin
    United Kingdom F.A. Neal
    United States D.M. Newman