Proposal for a Council Recommendation on Smoke-Free Environments

Wednesday, 01 July 2009

July 2009, Brussels - On 30 June 2009, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a Council Recommendation on smoke-free environments.

According to conservative estimates, over 79,000 adults, including 19 000 non-smokers, died in the EU-25 in 2002 due to exposure to tobacco smoke at home (72 000) and in their workplace (7 300).

Currently, ten EU countries have comprehensive smoke-free laws in place. UK and Ireland have the strictest smoke-free provisions with a complete ban on smoking in enclosed public places, on public transport and in workplaces. Bulgaria is due to follow suit in 2010.

The SFP interactive map on smokefree laws provides a detailed overview of smokefree legislation in EU Member States.

Eurobarometer survey of March 2009 found 84% of EU citizens in favour of smoke-free offices and other indoor workplaces, 77% in favour of smoke-free restaurants, and 61% supporting smoke-free bars and pubs.

The proposal for a Council Recommendation adopted by the European Commission calls on Member States to act in three main fronts:

  • Adopt and implement laws to fully protect their citizens from exposure to tobacco smoke in enclosed public places, workplaces and public transport as cited in Article 8 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco control, within three years of the adoption of the Recommendation
  • Enhance smoke-free laws with supporting measures such as protecting children, encouraging efforts to give up tobacco use and pictorial warnings on tobacco packages.
  • Strengthen cooperation at EU level by setting up a network of national focal points for tobacco control.

Article 8 of the FCTC

The second edition of the ’Spotlight on the FCTC’ highlights how the European Commission, European Parliament and EU Member States have met, or in some cases failed to meet, their obligations to tackle second-hand smoke, according to Article 8 of the convention.

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