1. Smoking bans lead to fewer smokers in general

Every year smoking is responsible for 700.000 premature deaths in Europe due to increased risks of cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. To protect citizens from toxic tobacco smoke all EU countries have introduced smoke-free environments, as recommended by the European Council in 2009. This has led to 1.9 million less smokers in the UK alone in the first 10 years since the introduction of the bans.

1. Smoking bans take away people’s freedom

Smoking bans can be seen as an infringement of freedom of choice. Smoking is a legal habit, and 28% of European adults are regular smokers, yet they cannot freely choose where they would like to enjoy their cigarette.

2. Reduces the risk of passive smoking

Toxic fumes don’t only affect the person actively smoking a cigarette – there are significant health risks associated with second-hand smoke as well. Worldwide, second-hand smoke causes more than 1.2 million premature deaths per year. Smoking bans in public places significantly reduce the exposure of non-smokers to toxic fumes.

2. Smoking bans are bad for business

It used to be commonplace for people to smoke in pubs and clubs. But when smoking bans are enforced in public places such as these, smokers seek other places where they can smoke in peace. That means fewer customers and lower profits for pub and club owners.

3. Healthcare costs fall

Smoking is expensive – not just for smokers themselves, but for the general public as well. It is estimated that the treatment of smoking-related diseases, productivity losses to the EU economy and premature mortality amount to €544 billion losses in one year in the EU. By reducing the number of active and passive smokers, smoking bans could thus save European healthcare systems a lot of money.

3. Less tax revenue for governments

There are high taxes on tobacco throughout Europe, though the precise percentage of taxation varies between member states. In this way, governments make a lot of money. If smoking bans lead to fewer cigarette sales, that could mean that governments have reduced revenues from tobacco taxes.

IMAGE CREDITS: (CC) Unsplash – Franck V.