European health authorities have called for a continental ban on smoking in all public places, including on public transportation and at the workplace, as part of an effort to wean Europeans off tobacco.

At the conclusion of a four-day World Health Organization meeting on smoking Friday, participants from 32 European nations also urged an end to tobacco advertising and industry sponsorship of public events.Dr. J.E. Arvall, WHO director for Europe, said tens of thousands of European men, women and children could "die in the next five years from cigarettes unless we do something right now."

"We have no time to lose," he said.

The meeting approved a measure asking European governments to ban smoking in all public places, on public transportation and at work. It also called for the outlawing of tobacco advertising and sponsorship by the tobacco industry of sporting and musical events.

More than 200 public health officials, doctors and anti-smoking activists attended the conference, which began Monday in the Spanish capital.