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Ban on smoking in public places

In this Resolution, the Council calls on the Member States to take appropriate measures to ban smoking in the public areas of certain establishments and in means of transport, in order to protect the right to health of non-smokers who do not wish to be exposed to the risks of passive smoking.

ACT

Resolution of the Council and the Ministers for Health of the Member States, meeting within the Council of 18 July 1989 on banning smoking in places open to the public [Official Journal C 189 of 26.07.1989].

SUMMARY

In addition to the potential encouragement to smoke and the unpleasant physical effects and nuisance which smoke causes for non-smokers, there is an increased risk of contracting respiratory diseases for non-smokers involuntarily exposed to the smoke of tobacco products. It is therefore necessary to protect the right to health of non-smokers.

The Member States are called on to take the following measures by introducing legislation or by other appropriate means:

  • ban smoking in enclosed premises open to the public which form part of the public or private establishments listed in an Annex to the resolution; Member States may add to this list;
  • extend the ban on smoking to all forms of public transport;
  • provide, where necessary, for clearly defined areas to be reserved for smokers in the above establishments and, if possible, in public transport, particularly for long journeys;
  • ensure that, in the event of disputes, in areas other than those reserved for smokers, the right to health of non-smokers prevails over the right of smokers to smoke.

RELATED ACTS

Commission Report to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 14 November 1996 on the response to the Resolution of the Council and the Ministers for Health of the Member States meeting within the Council on banning smoking in places open to the public [COM(96) 573 final - Not published in the Official Journal].
The report outlines the situation regarding the application of the Resolution, based on information provided by the Member States.
In all the Member States, various legal measures are in force to restrict smoking in places open to the public. Only the United Kingdom does not have a specific legal instrument but continues to rely on a simple code of practice. All the Member States have adopted an approach to protect the health of non-smokers. To a large extent, the national instruments reflect the measures proposed in the resolution and apply to the places listed in the Annex.
In all the Member States, growing awareness of the damage caused by tobacco to health has led to information and awareness-raising campaigns based either on respect for existing provisions or on codes of practice or voluntary agreements.
At Community level, the Europe Against Cancer programme (1996-2000) aims to protect the most vulnerable groups, in particular pregnant women and children, from the risks of passive smoking.
Finally, even though this issue comes within the competence of the national authorities, the Commission will endeavour to determine how well the national provisions are actually being applied.

Conclusions of the Council and the Ministers for Health, meeting within the Council of 27 May 1993 on the response to the Resolution on banning smoking in places open to the public [Official Journal C 174 of 25.06.1993].
In these conclusions, the Council reminds the Member States that they are called upon to report to the Commission every two years on the measures taken to ban smoking in places open to the public.
The Council also emphasises that a systematic assessment at Community level of the measures taken would make it possible to exploit the experience gained and draw appropriate lessons for the future.

Last updated: 31.10.2005
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