Not Saussure

June 3, 2007

EU considers banning smoking in the open air

Filed under: EU — notsaussure @ 4:58 pm

Blimey! OK, it’s only a proposal ‘signalling a first move,’ which presumably means they hadn’t got anything better to do with their time than dream this up to consider it at length before rejecting it, and even ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) think it’s unnecessary, but really...

If European officials get their way, the beleaguered smoker’s last refuge – a useful source of office gossip, though decidedly chilly in winter – will be swept away under the expansion of smoking ‘exclusion zones’.The EU is now considering a proposal signalling the first move to limit smokers’ right to puff away outdoors. It states that, as well as a ban on lighting up in all workplaces and public buildings across Europe: ‘Restrictions could also be extended to outdoor areas around entrances to buildings and possibly to other outdoor public places where people sit or stand in immediate proximity to each other, such as open air stadiums and entertainment venues, bus shelters, train platforms etc.’

I wonder if whoever in the Commission who came up with this is, in fact, a closet Euro-sceptic who wants to make the organisation as unpopular as possible.



  1. What is the rationale for such a dictate? What can be done about it? Is the public at the mercy of these fascist bastards?

    Comment by Ed — June 3, 2007 @ 5:15 pm

  2. Well, according to the Observer,

    The EU has been studying the Canadian province of Quebec, where smoking is banned within nine metres of any door leading into a health or social services facility or place where activities for young people are provided

    so I suppose that’s where they got the idea from. I suspect the reason, if not the rationale, is that it’s a make-work for someone in the Commission, and it’s never likely to be implemented. But who knows?

    Comment by notsaussure — June 3, 2007 @ 5:22 pm

  3. What’s that old cliche about work expanding to fill the available time?

    Comment by Richard Havers — June 4, 2007 @ 9:02 am

  4. Smoking will already be banned in bus shelters I believe – or is it just shelters with walls on three sides? You can’t smoke in Paddington Station. Our hospital, which is surrounded by open space and grassland the size of an aerodrome, has banned smoking anywhere in the grounds.

    Comment by Little Black Sambo — June 4, 2007 @ 6:56 pm

  5. It’s also banned on Derby station, I noticed the other day, even though that’s pretty much open-air.

    I don’t object to that — though I don’t like it — quite as much as this idea of banning smoking near office doorways. A station is, after all, private property (well, it belongs to Network Rail which is a state-owned company) but the street near an office doorway certainly isn’t.

    We’ve recently been into this in some detail at a crown court where I spend much of my time; in the opinion of learned Resident Judge, the steps to the court comprise part of the premises, and are therefore a no-smoking area, but the pavement at the foot of the steps isn’t under the court’s control so we’re free to smoke there.

    Comment by notsaussure — June 4, 2007 @ 7:20 pm

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