Environmental Tobacco Smoke

ESTA advocates tailored, practical and effective solutions that can accommodate the legitimate interests of those who do not wish to be exposed to ETS, those who wish to smoke in comfort in socially appropriate or traditionally adult venues and business owners who want a role in deciding how to implement solutions that work for their customers and their employees.

ESTA takes note of the Article 8 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) which obliges Parties to take effective measures in providing protection from exposure to tobacco smoke. ESTA stresses that the guidelines on Article 8 are not binding and do not extend Parties' obligations. Member States remain sovereign in selecting solutions which effectively meet the requirement as stated in Article 8.

ESTA supports a ban in enclosed work places and public places with exemptions and believes that this can be best achieved through proportionate, tailored and workable solutions.

Examples of solutions are designated areas which are physically separated and separately ventilated such as in premises of the hospitality sector or offices used by individuals.

Permanent or temporary residential places should be explicitly exempted from the restrictions (e.g. prisons, residential care homes, percentage of hotel rooms).

Members of private clubs as well as persons with overall responsibility for hospitality premises with a primarily adult clientele and with a limited useable area should be allowed to choose to make the venue non-smoking or smoking.

Only consenting employees shall work in designated areas of the premises where smoking is allowed.

ESTA believes that smoking should not be banned in outdoor areas including those that comprise part of public places and workplaces and in partially enclosed public places and workplaces as such a ban would be disproportionate and cannot be justified by concerns about exposure to ETS.

Furthermore, ESTA does not support attempts to ban or regulate smoking in private homes, private vehicles or any private places. It is our view that authorities should not infringe on personal choices of adults who have chosen to smoke in their private environment.

Finally, in line with the European Union's policy of Better Regulation, ESTA believes that any measure should be developed through open dialogue and consultation with all interested stakeholders, including the tobacco sector.