Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2009-11-25-Speech-3-398"

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"Here in the European Parliament, we often discuss human rights. According to a survey, 70% of European Union citizens do not smoke and the majority would like smoking to be banned in public places. There could be some discussion about whether this might discriminate against smokers. However, I believe that given the recognised damage to health that smoking can cause, we cannot risk people’s health. Of course, when talking about a smoking ban on an EU scale, we must not forget the principle of subsidiarity and we must allow the Member States themselves to decide how they will defend and protect their citizens. In Lithuania, for example, as our Irish colleagues have already mentioned, we have the Law on Tobacco Control which is one of the most progressive when compared at EU level. Of course, there is still more to achieve. In Lithuania, tobacco consumption is banned in public institutions, in workplaces, in enclosed areas, in all eating establishments and on public transport. In Lithuania, the Law on Tobacco Control was accepted quite willingly and in truth, even smokers themselves admit that they are now smoking less or, in some cases, have even stopped altogether. Of course, Lithuania, like other EU Member States, must devote somewhat more attention to the problem of under-age smoking. I believe that we are all interested in having a clean and healthy environment, especially for our children. Therefore, the good examples set by states banning smoking in public spaces should encourage and inspire those states that are more sceptical in this area to defend the rights of non-smokers and they should encourage EU institutions – having heeded the opinion of the European Parliament – to find ways of adopting legislation of an obligatory nature."@en1

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