Law moves closer to stubbing out smoking

6th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

6 October 2005, MADRID — A law banning smoking in the workplace and many other public locations starting in 2006 moved one step closer to reality after it was passed by the Spanish parliament's health committee.

6 October 2005

MADRID —  A law banning smoking in the workplace and many other public locations starting in 2006 moved one step closer to reality after it was passed by the Spanish parliament's health committee.

The measure also includes forbidding tobacco advertising and regulates the sale of tobacco products.

The health committee approved the law, which had received the Socialist government's approval in April, and now it will be sent to the Senate for debate.

The measure would prohibit smoking in the workplace, at health facilities and schools, enclosed sports venues, leisure and recreation areas and in places that prepare, process or sell food.

The ban would extend to elevators, telephone and cash machine booths, public transport including  buses, trains and ferries.

In many cases, however, the ban exempts open-air spaces or installations and even establishes that smoking can be allowed indoors provided that smokers are physically separated from the rest of the public and that the designated smoking area has its own ventilation system.

In addition, tobacco advertising will be banned in all the media, along with the free or promotional distribution of tobacco products and sponsorship of events by tobacco firms.

The legal age to buy and sell tobacco products will rise from 16 to 18 years, and bars and restaurants of greater than 100 square metres (1,056 square feet) will be obliged to provide smoking areas but smaller establishments will have to indicate on their entrances if smoking is permitted there or not.

The law will be fully enforced starting eight months after it enters into effect on Jan. 1, 2006, to give businesses time to designate and separate smoking zones from smoke-free areas.

One Catalan nationalist CiU party deputy asked how the time smokers dedicate to going outside to have a cigarette will be calculated and if this will be done as in other European countries where people who elect to take smoking breaks will receive four fewer days of holiday each year to compensate their employers for the time they spend indulging their habit during the workday.

Official figures indicate that 50,000 people die from tobacco-related diseases each year in Spain, comprising 16 percent of all deaths of people over 35.

Smoking kills more people than Aids, alcohol-related illnesses and traffic accidents combined.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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