Legislators in both Hong Kong and Houston, Texas, have voted to bring in smoking bans in enclosed public places, a move that should help safeguard the health of hospitality workers.
Houston joins US cities, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston in declaring its intention to ban smoking from enclosed public spaces, including restaurants and bars, from September 2007.
Joe Cherner, founder of Breathe (Bar and Restaurant Employees Advocating Together for a Healthy Environment) said: "No one should have to breathe a cancer-causing substance to hold a job."
Hong Kong's non-smoking laws are due to take effect from the start of next year, although massage houses, mah jong parlours and nightclubs have until 1 July 2009 to comply.
The news comes weeks after France announced it would introduce smoking restrictions from February of next year.
By Chris Druce