Building upon policy work implemented at previous editions of the EURO and UEFA’s club competition finals, in 2015 UEFA announced that a ‘Tobacco-Free Policy’ prohibiting the use, sale and promotion of tobacco and e-cigarette products would operate across all internal and external areas of the ten French stadiums staging UEFA EURO 2016 – the most comprehensive policy to operate at a mega-event to date.
UEFA’s ambition to implement a tobacco-free tournament at EURO 2016 led to the creation of a partnership between UEFA, Healthy Stadia and World Heart Federation to develop a No Tobacco project that would protect all stadium users, including fans, staff, volunteers and contract workers against the health and safety dangers presented by tobacco use – in particular second-hand smoke – in enclosed spaces.
The policy was communicated in a number of different ways including: UEFA media releases ahead of the tournament; website and social media platforms; in stadium signage; big screen and PA announcements; and through the deployment of specially trained volunteers.
Volunteers were equipped with yellow and red information cards to provide fans with further details of the policy and how it would operate during a match and a bespoke diary to record their interactions. Based upon standard referee cards, and in line with UEFA’s ‘soft-approach’, volunteers were trained to set a positive, non-confrontational tone with smokers.
A total of 12,805 yellow cards and 1,159 red cards were issued – 13,964 recorded interventions over the 51 match tournament with many more unrecorded conversations.