Respect Your Health - UEFA EURO 2016


Tobacco-Free Policy to be implemented at all Host Stadia in France at EURO 2016

As part of UEFA's Respect Your Health: No Tobacco programme, the ten French stadia hosting EURO 2016 matches from 10 June to 10 July will operate a tobacco-free policy - one step further than at any of UEFA’s previous tournaments.

Healthy Stadia has worked directly with UEFA and EURO 2016 SAS on development of this policy and how it will be implemented at all host venues over the course of the month long tournament, in particular use of 110 specially trained 'Respect Your Health' volunteers. Volunteers and stewards will be trained to make sure that spectators are appropriately informed of the policy and the need to comply with it at all times. 


No Smoking at host venues

The regulation will apply without exception to all spaces within the designated ‘No Tobacco’ perimeter, in all internal and external aspects of the stadium. Any individual using tobacco or e-cigarette products beyond this point will be asked to stop. The policy will come into force at venues on 08.00 the day before matches, and will cease four hours after the end of each match. No designated smoking areas will be made available for fans or staff at any point during the tournament. 

What else does the policy cover?

  • Sale of tobacco or e-cigarette products, including sale through cigarette vending machines, is strictly prohibited at all host stadia
  • Promotion and advertising of tobacco or e-cigarette products is also prohibited within the perimeter of host stadia
  • Sale of any tobacco related products carrying trademarks of UEFA and/or EURO 2016 are strictly prohibited within host stadia.


The strengthening of the total ban on tobacco consumption, sale and promotion is a natural continuation of UEFA’s commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles and a safe and sustainable environment through football. These are focal points of the organisation’s Football and Social Responsibility activities and will be a key condition of any future bid to host the EURO. 

Matthew Philpott, Director of the European Healthy Stadia Network said:

“The policy that Healthy Stadia will help to implement at UEFA EURO 2016 is one of the most progressive of its kind used at a sports tournament, and we hope this new benchmark is adopted by other competitions, both inside and outside of football.”


Source: UEFA. French football supporters

Why Tobacco-Free Stadia?

The primary reason why smoking is not permitted during EURO 2016 is to protect fans, staff and volunteers from the dangers of second-hand smoke - a direct cause of disease, disability and death.

What is second-hand smoke?


  • Second-hand smoke (SHS) is the smoke emitted from the burning part of tobacco products in combination with the smoke exhaled by smokers
  • Scientific evidence shows that there is no safe level of exposure to SHS, and that only 30 minutes exposure to SHS reduces blood flow to the heart in fit, healthy adults
  • SHS is responsible for up to 80,000 deaths each year in Europe alone, with a quarter of deaths being amongst children
  • Children are especially at risk from the effects of SHS as their organs are still developing and they breath faster than adults
  • Common problems associated with children exposed to SHS include: asthma, sudden infant death, middle ear infection and deafness, chronic chest problems and bronchitis.


UEFA are also committed to providing and maintaining an environment that is helpful for smokers who are trying to quit smoking and to de-normalise any association between football and tobacco. 

This helps to prevent the initiation of smoking amongst young people; research suggests that if young people see smoking as a normal part of everyday life, they are more likely to become smokers themselves.


Stade de France

Prohibiting the use of tobacco-based products also reduces the amount of litter and minimises fire hazards presented by tobacco use allowing stewards to focus on other aspects of their role.

Stats on dangers of tobacco use


  • Tobacco use is the largest preventable cause of premature death and chronic disease around the globe
  • Tobacco causes 700,000 deaths in Europe every year
  • Using tobacco is a major risk factor associated with: coronary heart disease, stroke, bronchitis, emphysema – plus a range of cancers such as lung, mouth, throat, bladder, kidney, stomach, liver and cervix.


Each stadia will also prohibit the use of e-cigarettes as, in addition to looking like traditional cigarettes, the vapour that e-cigarettes emit can be easily mistaken for tobacco smoke by other fans and stewards causing confusion and issues with policy enforcement. 


Signage and Communications

All tournament stadia will utilise the joint No Smoking and No E-cigarettes symbol to communicate UEFA’s tobacco free policy. Signage will cover all seating areas, toilets, concourses, food areas and stairways. Entrance gates and turnstiles will also feature prominent signage with pictogram and wording: ‘No Smoking: Use of tobacco and e-cigarette products are prohibited in any part of this stadium’.

In addition to signage, the tobacco free policy will be communicated to fans and tournament staff prior to and during EURO 2016 through:

  • UEFA media releases ahead of tournament
  • Websites and social media platforms for UEFA, EURO 2016 and other stakeholders
  • Public address announcements outside and inside host stadia
  • ‘Big screen’ and concourse screen messages at venues
  • Information on match tickets and in official match programme
  • ‘Yellow / Red card’ information cards for use by volunteers.


Application of the Policy

The tobacco free policy will come into effect once any person (fans, staff or otherwise) has crossed the designated ‘No Tobacco’ perimeter. This will include all internal and external areas once the turnstile has been passed, and additional areas at some host stadia in advance of the turnstile – to be defined per stadium.

VIP – Very Important Policy


  • All VIP, hospitality and staff areas of the stadium will also be covered by the policy
  • There will be no ‘designated smoking areas’ within the stadium perimeter that can be used to smoke
  • There will be no re-entrance to the stadium for any fans who exit before the end of the game
  • All small or disposable ash trays and other smoking cues will not be present at tournament stadia.


Enforcement of the Policy

To help communicate the policy and its operation to fans and members of the tournament workforce, Healthy Stadia has developed an online training package for all Resepct Your Health volunteers and stewards to brief them on all aspects of the policy. Volunteers will also receieve a face to face training session focussing on role play and conflict recognition that will be delivered at host venues in the two weeks precceding the tournament kick off on 10th June.

Volunteers and stewards will be trained to make sure that all stadium users are appropriately informed of the policy and the need to comply with at all times, especially during half time which is a crucial period for potential incidents of smoking within the stadium.

Any person using tobacco or e-cigarettes will be politely asked to stop by volunteers, highlighting the tobacco free policy operating at the stadium. If the user does not stop or would like clarification of the policy, volunteers will hand out a yellow card that explains the tobacco free stadia policy in more detail.

If the offence continues, a red card warning will be issued by volunteers which will state that continuing to breach the tobacco-free stadia policy will result in intervention from stadium stewards.

Volunteers will be more than happy to answer any questions about the policy before, during and after games and share yellow and red cards with fans.


Yellow & Red Cards

Yellow cards explain what the policy prohibits and where this applies, and the health benefits of tobacco free stadia

Red cards explain that incidents of continuous non-compliance with the policy will result in stewards intervention

yellow-card red-card


To help keep track on the number of yellow and red cards used by volunteers at matches, Healthy Stadia has developed a monitoring diary for use at each match. Each Respect Your Health volunteer will be asked to track:  

  • The number of times yellow and red cards have been issued
  • Where in the stadium incidents have occurred and at what time
  • Whether tobacco or e-cigarette products have been used
  • Any additional breaches in policy, including promotion of tobacco or e-cigarette products, or incidences of smoking cues (e.g. ash trays)
  • Any abusive behaviour toward volunteers

Staff from Healthy Stadia will work as No Tobacco monitors at high priority matches over the first round of the tournament, assisting volunteers and stewards with implementation of the policy. Volunteers, stewards and Healthy Stadia staff will pay particular attention to hot-spots of non-compliance which include: turnstile entrances, standard seating areas, inside standard and disabled toilets, internal and external catering areas, and within stadium walkways and staircases.


Social Media & Additional 'Respect' Programmes 

Twitter and Instagram will be used to drive key messages and raise awareness of the policy in the run up to and during EURO 2016. Be sure to follow @HealthyStadia (Instagram) and @healthystadia (Twitter) for all the latest news and updates on UEFA’s Respect Your Health: No Tobacco policy.

The Respect your Health project is one of the 5 Social Responsibility and Sustainability programmes to be run at UEFA EURO 2016,  all of which are featured in the tournament’s ‘One Year to Go’ Report. More information on the 5 programmes and report is available here


Tobacco-Free Stadia Guidance & Legacy

Tobacco-Free-Stadia-Guidance-Main-Guide     It is anticipated that the operation of a tobacco-free policy at the tournament will act as a strong example of good practice which will inspire venues in France to adopt similar protective policies, and although many football stadiums in France currently allow smoking in external areas, Healthy Stadia is working with host venues to establish the first steps in committing to a no smoking policy that can be adopted at domestic fixtures after the tournament has concluded.

To assist clubs and stadium operators in the development of a tobacco control policy Healthy Stadia has developed a Tobacco-Free Stadia Guidance document available for free download here.

This document provides comprehensive support for club and/or stadium staff tasked with implementing the policy, including background information, tools, templates, case studies and additional links. 

Download the Tobacco-Free Stadia Guidance

For more information please contact:

Matthew Philpott: Director, European Healthy Stadia Network

Tel: + 44 (0) 151 237 2686

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.