25th Oct 2016

Commission preparing pan-European smoking ban

  • The commission wants no exceptions to smoking bans (Photo: y3rdua)

The European Commission is preparing to introduce legislation in 2011 to ban smoking in public places right across the union.

While partial or total smoking bans have been introduced in many European countries ending patrons' ability to smoke in bars, cafes and other public venues, it is still relatively easy in some states to find a bolt-hole where smokers are welcome, whether due to exceptions to such laws or owners flouting the bans.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Health commissioner John Dalli has said he wants to put a stop to this.

"We need a complete ban on smoking in all public spaces, transport and the workplace," he said in an interview on Monday (11 October) with German daily Die Welt.

Announcing that Brussels is currently preparing a bill to be brought forward next year, he said that exceptions should no longer be tolerated, as the matter "is not only about the health of visitors, but also the employees."

In Belgium for example, home to the EU executive, patrons can still light up in cafes so long as the establishment does not serve food, while the Greek health minister last Wednesday admitted the effective failure of its 2009 smoking ban, saying that undercover inspections revealed that eight out of 10 bars openly flouted the law.

The EU bill may also attempt to reduce the amount of nicotine and other toxic substances contained in the product.

The commission will furthermore try to win agreement on rules making tobacco products no longer visible to customers and make packaging as unattractive as possible. The packets are to be made identical in appearance and to bear colourful warning pictures, such as of diseased lungs, as well as more information on the toxins the product contains.

"The more uniform and bland packaging the cigarettes are, the better," said the commissioner.

The addiction kills some 650,000 Europeans every year.


Europe ready to tackle Greek debt relief

The Greek government has built and broadened alliances in EU institutions and member-states that acknowledge the need to restructure the debt and deliver another economic model for the eurozone.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFADraft Bill for a 2nd Scottish Independence Referendum
  2. UNICEFCalls on European Council to Address Plight of Refugee and Migrant Children
  3. ECTAJoin us on 9-10 November in Brussels and Discover the new EU Digital Landscape
  4. Access NowCan you Hear me now? Verizon’s Opportunity to Stand for Global Users
  5. Belgrade Security ForumMeaningful Dialogue Missing Not Only in the Balkans, but Throughout Europe
  6. EASPDJoin the Trip! 20 Years on the Road. Conference & Photo Exhibition on 19-21 October
  7. EuropecheEU Fishing Sector Celebrates Sustainably Sourced Seafood in EU Parliament
  8. World VisionWomen and Girls Urge EU Leadership to Help end Gender-based Violence
  9. Dialogue PlatformIs Jihadism Blind Spot of Western Intellectuals ? Wednesday 26 October
  10. Belgrade Security ForumGet the Latest News and Updates on the Belgrade Security Forum @BelSecForum
  11. Crowdsourcing Week EuropeMaster Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding and Innovation! Conference 21 November - 10% Discount Code CSWEU16
  12. EJCEU Parliament's Roadmap for Relations with Iran a Massive Missed Opportunity