Exposure to second-hand smoke reduced, but still too high, says Commission report

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Protection from second-hand smoke has improved considerably in the EU, according to a report published by the Commission today. 28% of Europeans were exposed to second hand smoke in bars in 2012 – down from 46% in 2009. The report is based on self-reporting by the 27 Member States, following the 2009 Council Recommendation on Smoke-free Environments (2009/C 296/02), which called upon governments to adopt and implement laws to fully protect their citizens from exposure to tobacco smoke in enclosed public places, workplaces and public transport. The report dispels concerns about smoking bans impacting negatively on the revenues of bars and restaurants, by showing that the economic impact has been limited, neutral and even positive over time. However, the report also illustrates that some Member States are lagging behind, in terms of comprehensive laws protecting public health, and enforcement.

Source EC Press Release, 22 February 2013

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