Bij de Deutsche Welle staat op de site een interessant overzicht van de situatie rond rookverboden in de diverse Europese landen.
Zelfs op Malta wil men in april, ondanks grote tegenstand van de horeca aldaar, een algemeen rookverbod afkondigen voor de sector.
But just how cheap or easy is it for smokers to light up around the continent? And is there still such thing as a smokerrs paradise?
Belgium: With the highest rate of lung cancer fatalities in Europe, Belgium has gradually been toughening up the nations anti-smoking laws. Cigarette prices have risen by 70 cents in the past two years, putting the cost of a packet at 3.90P. There are plans to take the EU regulatory health warnings a step further, and add shocking photographs to the packets. Smoking on trains has been outlawed and Belgian workplaces are to be made smoke-free by 2006.
France: Tobacco prices have risen three times in the past 12 months and currently cost €5. France says that the increase has proved its effectiveness in the fight against tobacco addiction, but since the rise French tobacconists have bemoaned the loss of business, with smokers preferring to cross the border to Luxembourg, Belgium and Spain to buy cigarettes at a cheaper rate.
Greece: With some 44 percent of the Greeks over the age of 15 confirmed smokers, Greece is the smokiest country in the EU. 2002 laws outlawed smoking in many public areas and introduced designated areas in restaurants across the country. Billboard tobacco advertising will be banned for five months this year to coincide with the Olympics.
Holland: The liberality of the Netherlands officially waned on January 1st, when a new law came into effect, banning smokers from puffing in railway stations, trains, toilets and offices. Bars and restaurants won a temporary reprieve on condition that they find a solution by 2005. One third of Holland’s 16 million-strong population currently smokes, and the move is aimed at slashing that number back by five percent over the next five years.
Ireland: The Emerald Isle has been in the headlines over a planned smoking ban, originally due to come into effect there on January 1st. The ban, which is to be imposed in all work places including bars and restaurants, was postponed at least until February due to Dublinrs concerns that it might not be watertight. The pending law has met with fierce opposition from the gastronomy industry, which fears a drop in takings if smokers are no longer allowed to feed their habits on the premises.
Spain: Although the number of smokers in Spain has fallen from 34.4 million to 31 million, it still has one of the highest smoker rates in Europe. It is something of a national sport, a fact which critics gladly blame on the low cost of cigarettes. At €2.65 a packet, the price of 20 is below the European average, but the government recently rejected calls to significantly up the price because of the inflationary affect this would have.
Sweden: Taking the lead from New York, which banned smoking in restaurants and bars earlier this year, Sweden has pledged to do the same by 2005. The current laws entitle all employees to a smoke-free working environment, except for restaurant workers. The government doesn’t believe there will be a negative economic effect.
United Kingdom: While there is no law in Britain which forces publicans to section of a no-smoking area, restaurants often provide one anyway. Smokers in the UK will more likely be put off by the extortionate cost of their habit. At some €6.5, Brits pay well over the European odds for their little pack of 20.
Deutsche Welle site (Engels)
Ook op Malta wil men aan de gang met een algemeen rookverbod:
Bar owners and owners of leisure and entertainment spots are up in arms over regulations which would ban, it is understood, all smoking in all public places as from April.
Speaking to The Malta Independent, GRTU’s Philip Fenech said the new regulations are being brought in without any educational preparation. This is social engineering on a large scale, he said, and will not work, since to work it has to ensure the collaboration of the operators of the entertainment outlets.
The no smoking regulations will affect all outlets, including the little bars where old men gather for a tea and some pastizzi, wedding venues, as long as they are indoors, to restaurants and bars.