The city of Paris has turned six parks into non-smoking areas. This ban on smoking is supposed to last for a trial period of four months before a probable extension to all gardens and parks in the capital. So far, there has only been a smoking ban on 500 playgrounds, but this move is considered to be the next step in the city’s anti-smoking policy. Countries like Finland, Iceland, the UK and some US cities have implemented a similar ban.
Germany does not have such nationwide regulations and the Federal Non-Smoker Protection Act only applies to closed buildings. Further regulations would be a matter for Germany’s federal States, but spokespeople Markus Jox from the Baden-Württemberg and Rico Schmidt from Hamburg local health authorities said they see no need for action for external areas, “wherein the pollutants cannot accumulate”.
ESTA Secretary General Peter van der Mark said: “This measure is wholly unnecessary: it is not an evidence-based proposal, constitutes an invasion of personal freedom and serves only to moralistically stigmatise smokers. German leaders are showing common sense in choosing not to introduce measures that will only further ostracise smokers and cast them aside. ESTA fully supports reasonable, proportionate and evidence-based programmes to prevent minors from smoking and to protect non-smokers, but these measures are the very opposite of this.”