Bar owners face fines unless they stub out smoking

1st September 2006, Comments 0 comments

1 September 2006, MADRID — All bars and restaurants must abide by Spain's smoking laws from Friday, though campaigners expect few will do so.

1 September 2006

MADRID — All bars and restaurants must abide by Spain's smoking laws from Friday, though campaigners expect few will do so.

The deadline for larger premises to provide non-smoking areas or be completely smoke-free is 1 September.

Establishments which are over 100 metres square must abide by the law which came in on New Year's Day or face fines of between EUR 600-10,000.

But campaigners against smoking expect at least half of the 60,000 bars and cafes of this size have done nothing to comply with the regulations.

Businesses claim the law is unclear, and some regional governments, like Valencia, have allowed more lenient interpretations of some aspects of the legislation.

Madrid's regional government has also allowed inspections of bars to remain 'flexible'.

Rodrigo Cordoba, spokesman for the National Smoking Prevention Committee, said: "It is incomprehensible and unjustifiable.

"They had eight months to adapt and now they say they don't understand the law when it is perfectly clear."

Secondary smoke kills nearly 79,500 people a year in the European Union, according to a recent EU Commission study.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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