UEFA announced today that it will enforce a complete ban on the use, sale or promotion of tobacco in all stadiums involved in UEFA EURO 2012.
The regulation will apply without exception to all spaces within stadium perimeters, both indoors and outdoors. This tobacco-free policy was developed and will be implemented in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), World Heart Federation (WHF), European Healthy Stadia Network, local organising committees (LOCs) in Poland and Ukraine, and local health advocacy groups.
UEFA's decision to ban tobacco from the world's third-biggest sporting event sends a strong message to football fans everywhere, reaffirming the link between football and good health.
"A tobacco-free EURO 2012 is about respecting the health of our spectators and everyone else involved in the tournament," said UEFA President Michel Platini. "We uphold the highest standards of health, safety and comfort at our flagship tournament, and tobacco does not fit within them."
"A tobacco-free EURO 2012 makes so much sense," said Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO regional director for Europe. "Tobacco use kills and causes serious illnesses. This is a great example of what can be done within the WHO framework convention on tobacco control, which is already scoring goals across Europe."
Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner responsible for sport, is delighted with UEFA's decision and underlined its potential wider impact: "EURO 2012 will be a magnet for millions of spectators and fans, so this sends a powerful message. In addition, a tobacco-free EURO 2012 sets the standard for other sporting events across the continent."
Urging host cities to ensure smoke-free public transport, restaurants and fan zones, she added: "Football and sport are about health and performance, and tobacco is about the opposite – they just don't mix."
The total ban on tobacco consumption, sale and promotion at UEFA EURO 2012 goes beyond local restrictions and is a natural outcome of UEFA's commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles through football. This is a core theme of its football and social responsibility activities, which use football to help get a handle on some of Europe's top health, social and environmental problems.
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