No more ifs ands or buts… Exemptions from national smoking prevention rules could be stubbed out under a European blanket ban.
All the EU countries have their own limits concerning work places, but the European Commission is looking at removing the loopholes.
The new measures are not exptected to be tabled before next year. Consultations with unions and business groups are dragging out.
A spokeswoman in Brussels talked about “a duty to ensure that all workplaces are safe and secure for workers”.
She said: “In terms of the exact scope of the proposal, it is still to be determined, but clearly one of the areas which we would like to see covered is bars, restaurants, pubs and so on, which are enclosed spaces where workers, on a daily basis, are exposed to passive smoking and to the consequences that passive smoking has for their own health and safety.”
The UK’s ban came into force a year ago last summer. In some countries’ bars and restaurants, it’s partial or not enforced. In Germany, it is not federal law but individual states that decide whether government buildings, universities and hospitals are smoke-free. The planned Europe-wide action would cut out the various interpretations.