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).

A Eurobarometer surveypdf(3 MB) 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.

Currently, 15 EU countries have comprehensive smoke-free laws in place. Ireland, the UK, Greece, Spain and Hungary have the strictest smoke-free provisions with a complete ban on smoking in enclosed public places, on public transport and in workplaces.

arrow Detailed overview of Member States' smoke-free regulations (As of May 2011)pdf(2 MB)

Council Recommendation

On 30 November 2009, a Council Recommendation on smoke-free environments was adopted. The Recommendation 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.

Proposal for a Council Recommendation

On 30 June 2009, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a Council Recommendation on smoke-free environmentspdf(168 KB) Choose translations of the previous link български (bg) čeština (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti keel (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) français (fr) italiano (it) latviešu valoda (lv) lietuvių kalba (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv) .


Impact Assessment


arrowImpact Assessment Summarypdf(56 KB)
arrowImpact Assessmentpdf(324 KB)
arrowImpact Assessment Annexespdf(2 MB)
arrowReport supporting the Impact Assessmentpdf(2 MB)


Green Paper consultation


In order to launch a broad public consultation on the best way to promote smoke-free environments in the EU, the Commission adopted on 30 January 2007 a Green Paper "Towards a Europe free from tobacco smoke: policy options at EU level"pdf(2 MB) Choose translations of the previous link български (bg) čeština (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti keel (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) français (fr) italiano (it) latviešu valoda (lv) lietuvių kalba (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv)

The Commission was particularly interested in stakeholders' views on the scope of measures to tackle passive smoking and the extent of EU involvement in promoting smoke-free environments.

The Commission received more than 300 contributions from a wide range of stakeholders, including EU Institutions, Member States' authorities, the health sector, tobacco-related organisations, the social partners and individuals."

The consultation showed a clear support for comprehensive smoke-free policies in all enclosed workplaces and public places and for further EU action to promote smoke-free environments throughout the Member States.

This reportpdf(553 KB) summarizes the main findings of the Green Paper consultation.


Press releases


arrow The Fight Against Tobacco in the EU
arrowCommission calls for Smoke Free Europe by 2012
arrowQuestion and Answers on the Commission Proposal on smoke-free environments