December 6, 2017
by Forest EU

Austria: European smokers’ group calls for a smoke ban U-turn

The ÖVP and FPÖ parties are said to be thinking of dropping a smoke ban that would be applied in all restaurants, bars and nightclubs as soon as May 2018.


Brussels, December 6th, 2017 – For immediate release

Austria is in the process of forming a new governing majority and one of the significant points in the negotiations to form a coalition between the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) and the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) is a proposed smoking ban.  The ÖVP and FPÖ parties are said to be thinking of dropping the smoke ban agreed on by the previous government back in 2015. This ban would be applied in all restaurants, bars and nightclubs as soon as May 2018.

Welcoming the attempt to put the forthcoming smoking ban back in the political debate in Austria, Guillaume Périgois, director of the European smokers’ group Forest EU, said:

“It’s important that governments find ways to allow adults to smoke in some indoor public places, especially bars and restaurants.

“Smoking and non-smoking are not mutually exclusive. It’s quite possible to accommodate smokers in comfort without inconveniencing those who don’t want to be exposed to tobacco smoke in an enclosed space.”

Commenting on the anti-smoking groups’ arguments, he said:

“Tobacco is a legal product and smokers are voters who contribute enormously to the economy through taxes on tobacco. They deserve respect and consideration from policy makers and society.”

Périgois added:

“The key is choice. Non-smokers are now the majority but there is still a substantial number of smokers throughout Europe and smoking policies should reflect that.

“It’s important too to support the rights of restaurateurs and bar owners to devise policies on smoking that best meets the needs of their business.

“Give them, their staff and their customers, the freedom to choose.”

ENDS


Note for editors:

  • For more information, please contact Forest EU Director Guillaume Périgois on +32 4 78 98 07 43 or at gp@forestonline.eu.
  • Forest EU is an advocacy campaign informing smokers about issues that affect them in the European Union and engaging with stakeholders so the views of informed adults are taken into account within the EU’s decision-making process. Since 1979, Forest has been the leading voice in defending the rights of tobacco consumers and tolerant non-smokers. Forest EU doesn’t encourage smoking and represents the consumer, not the tobacco industry. For more information, visit forestonline.eu.

Featured image: “The only thing I didn’t like about austria” by Brenda under licence CC BY-NC-ND 2.0