Sunday, January 2, 2011

NEWS: Spain's strict new anti-smoking rules take effect

Originally posted January 2, 2011 @ BBC.co.uk


A tough anti-smoking law has taken effect in Spain.

Anti-smoking rules introduced in 2006 let bars choose whether to ban smoking

The ban - one of the strictest in Europe - outlaws smoking in all bars and restaurants. Smokers will also be prohibited on television broadcasts, near hospitals or in school playgrounds.

The law tightens anti-smoking restrictions introduced in 2006.

Spain has a strong cafe culture and the owners of bars and cafes have complained the law will hurt business.

The anti-smoking rules introduced in 2006 outlawed smoking in the workplace, but it let bar and restaurant owners choose whether or not to allow it. Most chose not to impose any ban.

Only large restaurants and bars were obliged to provide a smoke-free area.

Hotel, restaurant and bar owners have said they could face a 10% drop in trade with the new rules. The industry has already seen a sharp fall in sales due to Spain's economic problems.

But doctors argue the new legislation will help smokers give up.

Some 160 Spaniards a day die from smoking-related illnesses, four of them from passive smoking.