EU considers smoking ban in all bars, restaurants

29th October 2008, Comments 2 comments

The European Commission wants to ban smoking in all member states' workplaces by 2010.

29 October 2008

BRUSSELS - The European Commission wants to ban smoking in bars and restaurants across the European Union, officials in Brussels said Monday.

However, discussions on a smoking ban in all 27 member states' workplaces are still at the initial stage, meaning any new rules are unlikely to begin before 2010.

"Clearly one of the areas which we would like to see covered (by the ban) is bars, restaurants and pubs, which are enclosed spaces where workers on a daily basis are exposed to passive smoking and to the consequences that passive smoking has on their own health and safety", said Chantal Hughes, spokeswoman of EU employment commissioner Vladimir Spidla.

Smoking bans currently differ widely across the EU. While Ireland was the first EU country to make its pubs and restaurants smoke-free, smoking cigarettes is still allowed in some pubs in Germany and Belgium. And smoking is still common in both bars and restaurants in central and Eastern European countries like Hungary and Romania.

"A number of member states have already introduced smoking bans. However, they are very different in terms of scope and nature", Hughes said.

"We have a duty to ensure that all workplaces are safe and secure for workers. At this stage we do not think that this is the case, which is why the commissioner would like to see a ban in all workplaces", the spokeswoman said.

The commission plans to consult with employers and trade unions first, and does not expect the new rules to be submitted for approval to national governments before late 2009, when the next EU executive assumes office.

However, it is "important to start the debate and get the ball rolling", Hughes said.

[Dpa / Expatica]

2 Comments To This Article

  • Will posted:

    on 17th January 2009, 23:34:11 - Reply

    I suppose that we should also dismantle our highway system because Adolf Hitler began the autobahns. To say that smoke is not harmful is absurd. It is full of irritating, smelly, addictive and carcinogenic materials and I don´t see why I should have to be subjected to this obnoxious smoke just because I want to have a drink or something to eat in a public place. If smokers want to ruin their health it is their problem but please don´t force me to go along for the ride. Smoking is by nature a group activity where everyone in the room is forced to smoke because some people, without consent of the rest, decide that they need to feed their addiction.
  • Dan von Rosen posted:

    on 20th December 2008, 13:32:03 - Reply

    The first smoking ban was introduced by Adolf Hitler. Passive smoking is a myth that is used by the health-fascist against people who dare to enjoy life.In 2003 British Medical Journal published a studie that was based on 35561 americans during 39 years regarding "passive smoking".
    From the result: “no causal relationship between exposure to [passive smoke] and tobacco-related mortality” . professor James Enstrom from UCLA, “a small effect can’t be ruled out”. Working 8 hours a day in a bar where people smokes (It is a bar....) has the same effect as smoking 1 cigarett / month. 0,004 / cigarett / hour ((A New England Journal of Medicine 1975). You create a problem that does not exist and millions of EU-citizens are haunted. Shame on you!