Spain votes to stub out smoking in the workplace
28 September 2005, MADRID — The Spanish parliament unanimously agreed to throw out plans to allow smoking areas in workplaces when a new law cracking down on the habit comes in next year.
28 September 2005
MADRID — The Spanish parliament unanimously agreed to throw out plans to allow smoking areas in workplaces when a new law cracking down on the habit comes in next year.
All parties voted to get rid of a clause in a forthcoming bill which would have allowed 'smoking areas' within the workplace.
Spain is set to introduce an anti-smoking law nationwide from January.
It will force owners of bars and restaurants larger than 100 square metres to have air conditioning and non-smoking areas in at least 70 percent of the area.
Lighting up in the workplace will also be prohibited. Selling cigarettes to those under 16 will be punishable with fines.
The move follows similar attempts to cut smoking elsewhere in Europe.
France attempted to curb smoking levels by raising the price of cigarettes by 20 percent in October 2003.
Despite the price hike, no noticeable difference in smoking levels in Paris' traditionally smoke-filled cafes and bars.
Ireland imposed tough anti-smoking legislation in March 2004, banning smoking in pubs, restaurants and other enclosed workplaces.
Despite fears the ban would be widely flouted, most smokers in pubs adopted a pragmatic view and popped outside to the street or beer garden for a puff between pints.
Italy imposed a ban on smoking in all enclosed public places including bars and restaurants from January.
The ban was not been welcomed by all, with some bar owners and smokers saying they will ignore the ban on the grounds that cigarettes and smoking are an integral part of Italian bar and cafe culture.
Tobacconists reported a 20 percent fall in cigarette sales in the weeks immediately after the ban came into force.
In Holland a crackdown on smoking from January 2004 saw cigarettes banned from many public places including railway stations, trains, toilets and offices.
With 30 percent of the 16 million population smoking, the government wants to reduce the total by 5 percent over the next three years.
The UK has resisted calls to ban smoking in the workplace, instead preferring a voluntary approach from employers, the government has shifted its position.
But it now favours a ban for almost all enclosed public areas including offices, factories, cafes, restaurants and most pubs in England within a few years.
Scotland plans to have a comprehensive ban on smoking in public places in force by the spring of 2006.
About 30 percent of adults under the age of 65 smoke in the UK, according to recent research conducted by Imperial College in London.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news