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A smoking Europe

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Smokers watch out! EU Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner Markos Kyprianou launched on the 1st of March 2005 a four-year anti-smoking campaign „Help, for a life without tobacco”.

With a budget of 72 million Euros, the anti-smoking campaign consisted of a road show in which a giant inflatable structure, in shape of a cigarette, toured 25 EU capitals between March-July 2005 and was aimed at gathering people around the same objective – giving up smoking. Additionally there were many television adverts, sustained press coverage and a pre-test smoke level kit.

In Romania, one of the active members of the „Help, for a life without tobacco” is Romanian Youth Council, with its partners Their activities are national spread and consist of organizing specific seminars, social theatre in schools, public meetings and information campaigns for applying the smoking test and distributing informative materials.

The above-mentioned campaign was initiated because of the alarming situation in Europe. More than half a million people die every year in the European Union as a direct or indirect consequence of smoking. This makes nicotine addiction the most easily avoidable cause of disease and premature death. According to the Eurobarometer, more than 25% of all cancer deaths and 15% of all deaths in the EU could be caused by smoking.

The same figures show that the majority of Europeans (women more than men) are in favour of banning smoking in public and working places, restaurants and pubs, in the latter case in a smaller percentage. Moreover, some national authorities started taking steps in this direction. But, shouldn’t we, as individuals, take attitude against the smokers that do not respect the others’ right to a free-nicotine environment?

by Claudia Calin

Photo credits: Rupert Ganzer/Flickr