Smoking Bans Catch On in Europe
Italy's ban on smoking in its bars and restaurants, which starts Monday, is the latest in a series of crackdowns on smoking across Europe. Norway and Ireland already have tight limits on lighting up in public places, and Britain and Spain are in the proce
National officials say they are acting in the interests of their citizens: According to the World Health Organization, tobacco is the one of the leading causes of death world-wide, with tobacco-related ailments currently responsible for the death of one in 10 adults. Employees shouldn't have to deal with second-hand smoke, the governments say, whether it is from their customers or their co-workers.
In Europe, about 1.2 million deaths each year, or 14% of the total, can be attributed to the consumption of tobacco products, according to the WHO European Health Report 2002. The European Union is working to limit the effects; a ban on most forms of tobacco advertising goes into effect Aug. 1, and existing laws require health warnings on packaging and set limits for additives, including tar and nicotine.
Four hundred years after England's King James I called tobacco "loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lung," governments have decided to crack down on smoking. We take a look at the tobacco equation across Europe.