Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Europe: Romania Has Weakest Anti-Smoking Legislation

If you are a smoker who is planning a trip to Europe, choose Romania, Austria, Greece,  Slovakia, Czech Republic, because in those countries smoking bans are not enforced or simply do not exist. Top enforcement countries are Spain, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Latvia. However, in the coming years the situation may be changed, therefore hurry up!

On April 14 there were revealed results of a new research which showed that those five countries in the European Union have weakest anti-smoking laws in the region. In these conditions the WHO is especially worried because in these countries secondhand smoke continues to present a real hazard to non-smokers.

Knowing that, SFP head Florence Berteletti told that Governments should be blamed for imposing no punishments on those who break no-smoking laws. Such countries as Ireland and the UK have introduced police trainings which helped to apply the anti-smoking laws. Ireland, UK along with Cyprus  do prohibit smoking in private vehicles where kids are present. Besides this, in Ireland there was launched a hotline, which receives calls from people who faced a law violation.

Ireland is the country which first in the world banned smoking at workplaces in 2004. It became an example for other countries to make a similar change.

In its turn, in 2005 the WHO developed a framework convention on tobacco control and it became first obligatory international health treaty on control of tobacco use. Its major aim is to protect people from secondhand smoke exposure in public places. It recommends that smoking should be totally prohibited in public places, especially in hospitals.

Martin Seychell, deputy director general of health and food safety at the European commission, says that secondhand smoke is especially hazardous, therefore the Comission pushes for legislation to encourage people to quit smoking and to denormalise the habit in the society. Smokers consider that smoking should be permitted in some bars, but Seychell says that these exceptions may create particular difficulties for the enforcement.

In order to keep pace with requirements of modern smokers, tobacco industry created e-cigarettes, which are not appreciated by health organizations who claim they are not safe. Malta, Slovakia and  Belgium banned use of those devices on public places.

EU countries should enforce up to May 2016 tobacco directive, which imposes new rules on how tobacco products should be manufactured and presented in the European Union. By now Romanians and visitors should enjoy smoking in public places, where they feel themselves comfortable.

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