The EU health commissioner believes national bans do not work and have proved their ineffectiveness in curbing the number of 650,000 Europeans who die from smoking every year. ‘We need a full smoking ban in all public areas, means of transport and at the work place’ EU Commissioner for Health John Dalli (Malta) says, according to ‘Gandul’ daily. EC officials have realized that the full or partial bans introduced in the majority of the EU member states have not yielded results in preventing smoking-related death rates or curbing the number of smokers. One such example is Greece where the smoking ban introduced in 2009 is breached in 80 per cent of restaurants and bars. Restaurant or bar owners in other countries allow smoking as well, either claiming that they do not serve food or that that have a division between smoking and non-smoking areas. The statistics of the Romanian Pneumology Society show that one Romanian dies every 15 minutes because of smoking and that the number of deaths is growing, with such an event occurring every sight seconds worldwide. ‘The occurrence of cancer caused by smoking is worryingly growing in Romania. A total of 33,000 people died because of smoking-driven conditions in Romania only in 2009’, the Vice-President of the Romanian Pneumology Society, Miron Bogdan, stated. Psychologist Bogdana Bursuc. Adviser on the National Smoking Control Programme – ‘Quit Soking’ said a measure like the one currently contemplated by the EU authorities would most certainly cause the number of smokers to drop. ‘A smoking ban in public areas has quite a strong impact on our mind. It is the same mechanism as the one that intervenes when the gym is too far so we eventually give up going there. The same will happen with smoking. The aim of such a measure is to protect the population’, Bursuc said.