***The map will be revised in 2014***
Currently, all 27 EU Member States have some form of regulation aimed at limiting exposure to second-hand smoke. However, the scope and character of these regulations differ widely. A number of EU countries have enacted strong smoke-free laws that ban smoking in virtually all indoor workplaces and public places, including bars and restaurants. Tobacco industry predictions of economic doom for the hospitality industry have not materialised; independent studies consistently show that smoke-free laws have a neutral or positive effect on businesses.
However, many EU countries are still failing to enact comprehensive smoke-free laws in indoor public places, work places and public transport, in spite of its legal obligation to do so under Article 8 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the world’s first public health treaty. 172 countries have ratified the treaty so far, including all EU Member States. Furthermore, the 2009 Council recommendation on smoke-free environments (2009/C 296/02) reinforces Article 8 FCTC, as well as giving 2012 as a deadline for Member States to bring in comprehensive smoking bans.
In January 2011, Spain introduced new smoke free legislation, completely banning smoking in bars and restaurants. Although compliance is difficult to measure at this early stage, the new law signals an important step in smoke free policy globally, as the old law (the "Spanish Model") is used around the world as a substitute for comprehensive smoke free bans.
The countries in green follow both the letter and spirit of the Article 8 guidelines of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
1. The smoke-free law is strong; and
2. The smoke-free law is strongly enforced.
There is negligible smoking in workplaces, bars and restaurants. In countries like France and Italy, there are exemptions allowing for enclosed smoking rooms in bars, but the requirements are so strict that in practice, few bars have installed them.
The countries in orange only offer limited protection. Many places are smoke free but does not give 100% protection against the harmful effects of second-hand smoke (SHS) due to the exemptions allowed. In some countries, such as Greece and Cyprus, the law is strong, but it is poorly enforced.
The countries in red have weak or unenforced laws. Workers are not protected.
*This map includes Norway and Turkey, although they are not EU members*
The Smoke Free Partnership runs projects which receive financial support from the European Commission. The views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect the official views of the EU institutions.
The Smoke Free Partnership is...
a partnership between Cancer Research UK, the European Heart Network and Action on Smoking and Health UK. We aim to promote tobacco control advocacy and policy research at EU and national levels in collaboration with other EU health organisations and EU tobacco control networks.