Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides marked World No Tobacco Day on 31 May by stating:
“Today, tobacco use remains the single largest avoidable health risk in the EU, and contributes to many serious health problems. It remains the leading cause of preventable cancer in the EU, with over a quarter of all cancers attributed to it.
We know for a fact that tobacco kills up to half of its users, and this must change in a strong European Health Union that delivers for all citizens.
With Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, we have made reducing tobacco consumption a key priority with a very clear goal – to create a ‘Tobacco-free Generation’. Despite considerable progress made in addressing the use of tobacco in recent years, the number of smokers in the EU is still too high. We need to step up our action to deliver on the commitment to reduce tobacco consumption in the EU population from today’s 25% to 5% by 2040.
This is why this year, we will be proposing new recommendations to our Member States on promoting smoke-free environments to further reduce the use of tobacco and protect our citizens.
As an example, these actions will allow us to do more to limit the consumption of new tobacco products entering the market, as well as the impact of second-hand smoke in outdoor spaces.
This is an important step in our commitment to better protecting non-smokers, especially vulnerable population groups such as children. It will also help us reduce smoking and the use of new tobacco products across the EU, especially amongst young people.
World Tobacco Day is a timely reminder that we can and must all take our health into our own hands. Quitting smoking goes a long way towards this.”