Cigarettes: the European Union has 142 million smokers

The European Commission is planning to ban smoking in beaches.

European Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis urged countries to make all public spaces smoke-free, including beaches, parks, sports facilities, but also cars with children.

Currently, only seven European countries have a complete ban on smoking in enclosed public places. They are Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Malta, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

According to the European Commission, tobacco kills 700,000 deaths every year in the 28 member states that comprise the European Union.

The European Union has 142 million smokers, i.e., 28 percent of the population smoke. The official numbers also indicate that 29 percent of young Europeans aged 15-24 have daily smoking habits.

In the past decade, European countries adopted several tobacco control measures, including advertising restrictions, higher taxes on tobacco products, packaging, and labeling limitations, and anti-smoking campaigns.

The European Union notes that 94 percent of all smokers start smoking before they reach 25 years of age.

Cigarette butts are also becoming a major problem in the beaches of the Old Continent. The over 165 chemicals found in a cigarette have profound negative effects on the marine ecosystem, and the filters take many years to decompose because they're made of a form of plastic.

Take a look at how smoking seriously affects surfing.