The EU’s 1989 Declaration of War on Smokers

I generally explain my disenchantment with the EU as dating from 2010, when I discovered that in late 2009 the EU had declared war on smokers in Europe.

But a few days ago Rose produced evidence that the EU’s war on smoking dates from far earlier than 2009,

In fact, it dates back to the Resolution of the EU Council 18 July 1989, which I reproduce in full with added emphases:

RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL AND THE MINISTERS FOR HEALTH OF THE MEMBER STATES, MEETING WITHIN THE COUNCIL of 18 July 1989 on banning smoking in places open to the public (89/C 189/01)


Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community,

Having regard to the draft recommendation from the Commission,

Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social Committee (1),

Whereas the European Council held in Milan on 28 and 29 June 1985 stressed the importance of launching a European action programme against cancer;

Whereas the Council and the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, in their resolution of 7 July 1986 on a programme of action of the European Communities against cancer, set the objective of contributing to an improvement in the health and quality of life of citizens within the Community by reducing the number of cases of cancer and under this heading gave priority to measures against smoking;

Whereas, in addition to the potential encouragement to smoke and the unpleasant physical effects and the nuisance which smoke causes for non-smokers, there is an increased risk of respiratory illnesses for non-smokers involuntarily exposed to the smoke of tobacco products ; whereas consequently, it is appropriate to protect the right to health of non-smokers against involuntary smoking;

Whereas, to ensure respect for the right to health of non-smokers, it is essential to ban smoking in public places in certain establishments and in forms of transport;

Whereas, however, in view of the extent of tobacco addiction affecting part of the population, it is appropriate to make provision to permit smoking in part of these establishments and forms of transport;

Whereas it is necessary to extend to the citizens of all Member States the protection they are afforded in some Member States against the damage caused by involuntary smoking;

Whereas, finally, the initiative set out in this resolution will have an even more beneficial effect on public health, particularly for the workers directly concerned, when coupled with health education programmes during the years of compulsory education and with information and public awareness campaigns,


to take the following measures by introducing legislation or by other methods in accordance with national practices and conditions:

1. Ban smoking in enclosed premises open to the public which form part of the public or private establishments listed in the Annex. Member States may add to the said list;

2. Extend the ban on smoking to all forms of public transport;

3. Provide, where necessary, for clearly defined areas to be reserved for smokers in the above establishments and, if possible, in public transport, particularly for long journeys;

4. Ensure that in the event of a conflict, in areas other than those reserved for smokers, the right to health of non-smokers prevails over the right of smokers to smoke;

to inform the Commission every two years of action taken in response to this resolution. (1) Opinion delivered on 26 April 1989 (not yet published in the Official Journal).

Public and private establishments referred to in point 1 of the resolution (non-exhaustive list)

1. Establishments where services are provided to the public, whether for a charge or free, including the sale of goods;

2. Hospitals, establishments where health care is given and all other medical establishments;

3. Establishments where elderly persons are received;

4. Schools and other premises where children or young people are received or housed;

5. Establishments where higher education and vocational training are given;

6. Enclosed establishments used for entertainment (cinemas, theaters, etc.) ; radio and television studios open to the public;

7. Enclosed establishments where exhibitions are held;

8. Establishments and enclosed places where sports are practised;

9. Enclosed premises of underground and railway stations, ports and airports.

Today’s smoking ban was all there already, back in 1989!

The document doesn’t specifically mention bars and cafes and restaurants. But they are clearly “Establishments where services are provided to the public, whether for a charge or free, including the sale of goods.” Nor does it mention churches, which provide services for free, but they must clearly be included as well.

Another interesting feature of the document is that it requests that, where necessary, and if possible, areas should be reserved for smokers in all the establishments listed.

It would seem that, in the event, it was never found either necessary or possible to provide any smoking areas in any of them. So that part of the Resolution fell away.

But what’s most notable about the resolution is that  the rights of non-smokers must prevail over the rights of smokers:

4. Ensure that in the event of a conflict, in areas other than those reserved for smokers, the right to health of non-smokers prevails over the right of smokers to smoke.

In this document, smokers have been declared to be second class citizens, with their rights to smoke restricted to a few smoking areas. But since, as just pointed out, they were never actually given any such smoking areas, they effectively have no rights at all. And in fact, since they have no rights to smoke anywhere other than designated smoking areas, then if their own homes or the outdoor environment have not been designated as smoking areas, they have no right to smoke there either.

Anyway, it would seem that the EU was, from the outset, bent on banning smoking everywhere.

And this might well prove to be one very strong reason why the EU political project was guaranteed to fail. Because one of its first acts was to remove the rights of fully a third or a quarter of the population to smoke anywhere, and thereby reduce them to second class (or third class) citizens.

There is no possibility whatsoever that a society which expels such large numbers of its own people from public life can survive. There is no possibility that the EU, which has done exactly this, can survive either.


About Frank Davis

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27 Responses to The EU’s 1989 Declaration of War on Smokers

  1. garyk30 says:

    “reducing the number of cases of cancer“

    Apparently, it is ok for people to get, and die from, heart disease and respiratory diseases,
    1. All people die
    2. Fewer cancers just means that there will be more heart disease and respiratory disease deaths.

    3. Every public health success in one area is a public health disaster in another area.

  2. Frank Davis says:

    Passionate bunch of assorted speakers in favour of Brexit:
    Kate Hoey MP (Labour)
    Tim Martin (Wetherspoon)
    Sammy Wilson MP (DUP)
    Graham Stringer MP Labour
    Nigel Farage MEP
    Jacob Rees-Mogg MP (Conservative)

  3. garyk30 says:

    3. Every public health success in one area is a public health disaster in another area.

    Smoking is the biggest single cause of pre-mature death; so, pre-mature death must be a bad thing.

    If there were no smokers,there would be more nonsmokers dying pre-mature deaths.

    One half of all deaths are always pre-mature by mathematical definition.

    If there are no smokers, all of that one half will have to be nonsmokers.

    More nonsmokers dying pre-maturely is a bad thing for public health.

  4. waltc says:

    Can’t put my hands on it at the moment but I’ve direct-quoted it here before : in a ca 1975 Consumer Reports book on smoking, your British physicians group recommended public smoking bans as a way to end smoking, and long before secondhand smoke was invented. Then too a US white paper ca, 1998 (that I think was called Blueprint 2000 –someone, correct me) stated that in any conflict between smokers and nonsmokers, the nonsmokers automatically win.

    • Rose says:

      Ten Years To A Tobacco-Free America

      P31; Any comprehensive Clean Indoor Air statute must not contain provisions that provide civil rights protection for smokers against employment discrimination.

      “Hundreds of smoking-control laws across the country stipulate that in cases of dispute between a smoker and nonsmoker, the nonsmokers’s wishes prevail.
      Anti-discrimination laws would serve to negate such stipulations. In addition, an anti-discrimination law would give a smoker the power to bring suit against both the employer and the nonsmoker with whom there is a grievance.”

  5. Smoking Lamp says:

    Once again we see direct evidence a systematic persecution ion smokers. When evidence of harm as lacking it was fabricated. When that evidence was disputed in over 70 separate studies (and at times even direct findings from CDC and the WHO) that dissenting evidence is brutally suppressed. The purpose of smoking bans was to create division so smokers could be directly targeted and persecuted. Bans are designed to persecute smokers and de-normalise smoking.

  6. Take the famous British Doctors’ Study: they were 87% smokers, yet their death rate from all causes was significantly lower than the general population’s, and their life expectancy higher.
    Nuff said, innit?
    Smokers’ overall premature death, my ass!

    • Fredrik Eich says:

      I think the biggest problem with that study was most of them quit smoking. So you had a bunch of ex smokers who knew they were in the study, making clinical decisions that could affect the outcome of the study!

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