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Protection of non-smokers

Recommendation 1101 (1989)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 3 February 1989 (25th Sitting) (see Doc. 5984, report of the Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee, Rapporteur : Mr de Puig). Text adopted by the Assembly on 3 February 1989 (25th Sitting).

The Assembly

1. Recalling its Recommendation 716 (1973) on the control of tobacco and alcohol advertising and on measures to curb the consumption of these products ;
2. Noting that cigarette smoking continues to be the largest single avoidable cause of premature mortality in Europe, where it is responsible for more than half a million deaths each year ;
3. Considering that many studies have demonstrated that environmental tobacco smoke is not merely a nuisance to non-smokers, but may also be a serious health hazard to them ;
4. Concerned about the damage done to the foetus and about the general complications caused by smoking and environmental tobacco smoke to women during pregnancy, as well as about its particularly harmful effects on children ;
5. Concerned at the levels of smoking among young people ;
6. Concerned that, whereas cigarette smoking is decreasing among men and no longer increasing among women in developed countries, it is dramatically increasing in Third World countries ;
7. Concerned about the promotion of smokeless tobacco, which the World Health Organisation (WHO) has found to constitute no safe alternative to cigarette smoking ;
8. Considering that the benefits of taxation and employment in the tobacco industry are offset by medical costs on tobacco-related diseases and lost production ;
9. Considering that government action is indispensable in order to encourage people to stop smoking, to urge young people to refrain from starting to smoke and to guarantee the right of non-smokers to be free from environmental tobacco smoke ;
10. Noting and considering that the time when smoking had a symbolic function - from peace pipe to emancipatory manifestation - lies behind us ;
11. Supporting Resolution EUR/RC37/R9 of the Regional Committee for Europe of WHO, unanimously adopted in September 1987, which encouraged member states to promote measures to protect non-smokers, in view of WHO's goal of ‘‘Health for All'' by the year 2000 ;
12. Welcoming the decision by the European Parliament to ban smoking in all its meeting rooms as from 1 September 1988 ;
13. Desirous that its own committees should follow the example of the European Parliament by agreeing to refrain from smoking during their meetings,
14. Recommends that the Committee of Ministers :
a urge member states :
14.1.1 to implement comprehensive multisectoral policies on tobacco, in co-operation with intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations ;
14.1.2 to promote education on the risks of smoking and on respect for the rights of non-smokers ;
14.1.3 to establish regulations to prohibit smoking in enclosed public places, public transport, airliners, health-care premises, education establishments, premises where food is handled, covered premises devoted to sports and entertainment, places of work (except in separate rooms meant for smokers) and in all other places where non-smokers need to be protected from environmental tobacco smoke ;
b initiate the preparation of a European charter on tobacco, as a binding legal instrument, as advocated by the Regional Office for Europe of the World Health Organisation ;
c guarantee the protection of non-smokers in meeting rooms and shared offices in Council of Europe buildings, as the European Parliament has done.