The European Commission has given the go-ahead to a group that wants to achieve a tobacco-free environment in the EU by 2030.
The EU body said it had decided to register a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) on the issue, a move which will allow the organisers to collect signatures in support of their proposals.
Under the ECI, launched in 2012, one million citizens from at least seven EU member states can invite the commission to propose legislation in areas where it has the powers to act.
“The decision to register is of a legal nature, and it does not pre-judge the final legal and political conclusions of the commission on this initiative, and the action it will intend to take, if any,” the EU body said.
‘End tobacco sales’ call
The commission stated that the ECI had fulfilled the formal conditions for registration, which are:
The proposed action does not manifestly fall outside the framework of the commission's powers to submit a proposal for a legal act,
It is not manifestly abusive, frivolous or vexatious, and
It is not manifestly contrary to the values of the EU.
The organisers of the ECI on tobacco want the commission to propose legislation to end the sale of tobacco and nicotine products to citizens born in 2010 and onwards.
The initiative also calls for specific measures to achieve tobacco-free and cigarette-butt-free beaches and riverbanks, create a European network of tobacco-free national parks, extend outdoor vapour-free spaces, and to eliminate tobacco advertising and its presence in audio-visual productions and social media.
The EU body says that it has not yet examined the substance of the proposals.