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The Organization

Free my Lungs is a non-profit organization made up of various people who have joined forces to fight against passive smoking.

We feel we are basically entitled to a smoke-free environment, and that is what we are continuing to aim towards. We are opposed to smoking in general, but we object in particular to passive smoking. We intend to apply pressure by various means; spreading information, compiling educational programmes, trying to persuade smokers to quit smoking, conducting campaigns, explaining and analysing the medical side of passive and active smoking.

Free My Lungs Action Plan

What can be done?

The simplest and most efficient solution would (of course) be to ban the sale of cigarettes completely. However, this is not a realistic option; but we can aim for a smoke-free environment and ensure that non-smokers are not forced to inhale along with the smokers.

Action Plan

You could call it a step-by-step plan. Belgium has countless laws, but very often they are not enforced in practice. For example, the law requiring restaurants and pubs to provide separate areas for smokers and non-smokers. We have to work to ensure more inspections, and better enforcement. Also, we need a change in mentality to take place. For instance, the people affected by passive smoking must heave the courage to speak out, and say that it bothers them or damages their health. We have to arrive at the notion that giving up cigarettes or deliberately not smoking is “cool”. This can be achieved by organizing awareness-raising campaigns. We could make teaching materials available to primary schools, and help them reinforce their prevention campaigns. Various problems relating to smoking and cigarettes will be relayed to our specific working groups for further study. We will aim at measures which will entail both an increase in the price of cigarettes and a ban on smoking in hotels, restaurants, and cafés. There is indeed proof that it is primarily for financial reasons that people abandon cigarette smoking. During an evening out, one smoker in five won't go outside to smoke if a general smoking ban is in force. This has advantages not only for the people who are currently exposed to passive smoking, but also for the smoker's own health. Hence, an important part of our campaign will be to convince the government of the need to take initiatives.