The head of the U.K. Trades Union Congress labor federation called on the European Commission, which has the power to set safety and health standards for the 15 nations in the European Union (EU), to classify tobacco smoke as a “hazardous chemical” under EU law, and to ban it, like other dangerous substances, from all workplaces.

“Tobacco smoke is a killer and should be treated as such in the workplace,” said Brendan Barber, the labor federation’s general secretary. “Making work smoke-free would save thousands of lives and do absolutely no harm to the economy,” he added

The EU Commission has a legal obligation to examine the health effects of hazardous chemical agents and levels of workplace exposure using the latest scientific research.