The government plans to expand smoke-free outdoor areas in the interest of public health, which means restricting smoking in places like beaches and parks. The aim is to limit the consumption of all tobacco and nicotine products uniformly.

According to Report, which cites Estonian media, last week, the government approved Estonia’s positions on European tobacco policy. Among other things, the expansion of smoke-free outdoor areas on terraces, in parks, on beaches and in other recreational areas where many people gather was discussed. For example, in Latvia and Lithuania, there are designated smoking areas on beaches that are marked and equipped with trash bins.

Aive Telling, head of environmental health and chemical safety at the Ministry of Social Affairs, explained Estonia’s plans: “Today, we are talking about a restriction that still allows individuals to smoke, but in a way that does not harm the health of those around them. This is the most important point in ensuring a smoke-free environment. We must consider others, and this is also about changing societal attitudes to ensure our actions do not harm others.”

Piret Väljaots, head of the Tartu Health Service, highlighted concerns about compliance with the restrictions: “Let’s say that today, alcohol consumption on the beach is monitored, people are reminded that drinking alcohol on the beach is not allowed. Similarly, it will likely be possible to monitor tobacco use during the beach season. It becomes more complicated with parks, as there is no constant law enforcement presence in public spaces.”

The Ministry of Social Affairs does not yet have a detailed plan in place.