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Markos Kyprianou

Presidency of the European Union

Austria 2006 - Presidency of the European Union



There is increasing awareness of the harmful effects of smoking in the EU. The Community attaches great importance to fighting tobacco use. The major objectives are prevention and cessation. Despite considerable progress, the number of smokers is still high – around one third of the Community population – and the health effects are equally significant, with about 650,000 smoking-related deaths per year in the Community. Almost half of these deaths are of persons aged between 35 and 69 – well below the average life expectancy. Smoking also affects the health of non-smokers, particularly in vulnerable groups, who are increasingly demanding protection.