Public smoking bans in europe lead to fewer cigarettes at home

By Join Together Staff February 14, 2012 Leave a comment Filed in Legislation, Prevention & Tobacco

Smoking bans in public places such as restaurants and offices lead people to smoke less at home, a new European study concludes.

The study included 4,600 smokers in four countries with smoke free laws France, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands, as well as 1,080 smokers in Britain, at a time when that country had no public smoke free laws.

The study found that before smoke free laws went into effect in those four countries, most smokers had at least partial restrictions on smoking in their homes. After the laws went into effect, the percentage of smokers who did not allow smoking in their home rose by 38 percent in Germany, 28 percent in the Netherlands, 25 percent in Ireland and 17 percent in France, Reuters reports.

In contrast, the percentage of smokers who banned smoking in their homes did not significantly increase in Britain.

Some critics of laws that ban smoking in public places argue that they will encourage people to smoke more at home, possibly increasing the exposure of children to secondhand smoke, the article notes. Researcher Ute Mons of the German Cancer Research Center said the study suggested the opposite is true. «On the contrary, our findings demonstrate that smoke free legislation may stimulate smokers to establish total smoking bans in their homes,» she wrote in the journal Tobacco Control.

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Eu vote on electronic cigarettes ‘makes no sense’ — telegraph

The vote was intended to make tobacco smoking less attractive to young people through mandatory warnings, minimum pack sizes, and rules on flavourings.

However, the revision of the EU ‘Tobacco Products Directive’ would classify most e cigarettes as a medicinal product, despite the fact that in the UK alone 25 percent of all attempts to kick the habit are made using e cigarettes, making them the most popular aid.

The European Commission had proposed that e cigarettes containing 4 milligrammes or more of nicotine must be classed as medicinal products but an EU parliamentary committee went further, voting to classify all e cigarettes as pharmaceuticals, regardless of the nicotine content.

Users of e cigarettes (known as vapers) have protested, arguing that through e cigarettes they were able to kick the tobacco habit.

They say classifying them as medical devices will mean they must undergo a costly and protracted authorisation processes before marketing. Their availability would be restricted to certain pharmacies.

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Producers of e cigarettes said the vote could push many out of business and reduce choice for e cigarette users.

Fraser Cropper, chief executive of e cigarette company Totally Wicked, said «It will result in many smaller and more innovative producers of e cigarettes going out of business. Medicines regulation creates a default prohibition and requirement for approval, leaving deadly tobacco cigarettes as the only easily marketed source of nicotine.»

Martin Callanan, Conservative MEP, proposed an amendment that would see e cigarettes authorised in a similar way to other nicotine products.

He said, «»The world has gone mad when tobacco is less regulated than products designed to end tobacco use. Thousands of people have given up smoking thanks to e cigarettes. For the EU to over regulate them is completely counter productive and hypocritical.

«This vote is not the end of this process and we will be working with vapers to make other MEPs see sense and support e cigarette producers and users.»

Policy toward the new technology widely varies across the EU. Some countries such as Denmark have banned them, while in others such as Britain they are freely available for sale with no restrictions.