A smoke free Europe?

News that the EU may try to enforce a European wide smoking ban is something I've been meaning to blog about since it was announced on Tuesday.

With the UK ban coming into force in July and Ireland, Sweden, Italy and Malta already having implemented some sort of smoking ban, I for one can't wait. At the national level, it's contentious enough, putting the rights of workers to work in a healthy environment against the freedom of others to smoke.

I think the argument against EU intervention was summed up nicely by Ramon PĂ©rez-Maura of Spanish paper ABC, in a country where a partial smoking ban has been celebrated rather modestly. He writes;

"The principle of subsidiarity effective in the EU assures that what can be decided upon in the lower echelons need not be decided upon in higher echelons"
(Spanish version by ABC - English version by eurotopics)

Until now, the quit campaign of the EU has been the Help-EU campaign, a rather friendly face approach, uncharacteristically colourful and down-to-earth; the pan-European TV ads, the city tour aided by inflatable thingies and the funky website score some credibility points at least. There were even exclamation marks in the press releases.

Slightly off topic, it harps back to another fantastic pan-European campaign supported by the EU regarding AIDS awareness called AIDS Remeber Me, whereby each Member State submitted a TV advert and web users voted for their favourites. More than anything, it displays the different attitudes each country has to sex, youth and contraception and really deserves a browse.

It's an insight into the hugely different cultural responses to a common cause, something which I'm sure future national non-smoking policies should be allowed to reflect.

Post a Comment
  1. # Blogger TAR ART RAT

    hi, I just wrote an article about Help-eu.com, i was plased to find someone bloggin about it- but the link up at the top is blocked by the pay-per click link, grrr.

  2. # Blogger Matt

    cheers paul, the trusty bbc has a similar article for free


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