The EU Health Commissioner Vassiliou presented 30 June 2009 in a press conference at the European Commission in Brussels a proposal for a European Council Recommendation on moving forward with the second-hand smoke issue at European level. EFA attended the event. This is in the follow up of the so-called EU Green Paper on Smoke free Europe, published 2008  that set the options for action at European level and a public consultation followed. EFA believes that also at EU level binding legislative action is needed as well as at member state level to protect ALL. The option chosen by the Commission is a combination of legislative and non-binding measures: a Council Recommendation (a topic of this press conference) and upgrading EU workplace legislation. In parallel, the Commission DG Employment will launch this year consultation on the protection of workers from risks related to exposure to environmental tobacco smoke at the workplace (upgrading EU workplace legislation). EFA welcomes that the Commissioner acknowledged that people with existing disease such as asthma are particularly vulnerable ‘even with life-threatening consequences’.

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The EFA Team