IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE : The information on this site is subject to a legal notice (

Health and Consumer e-News keeps you up-to-date with all the latest developments and activities in DG Health and Consumers. Receive by email, regular information on the topics that most interest you.

Public Health (30-06-2009)

Commission calls for a Smoke Free Europe by 2012

Today, after extensive consultation, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a Council Recommendation calling on all Member States to bring in comprehensive smoke-free laws by 2012.

The Recommendation calls on Member States to act in three main fronts:

Tobacco remains the largest single cause of premature death and disease in the European Union. According to conservative estimates, 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 introduce such a complete ban in 2010.

A recent Eurobarometer poll suggests that popularity is mounting for smoke-free policies with 84% of Europeans supporting smoke-free offices and other indoor workplaces; 77% in favour of smoke-free restaurants, and 61% supporting smoke-free bars and pubs.

More information:

Proposal for a Recommendation

Press release:

Questions and answers:

Overview of Member States' smoke-free regulations: