Spain finally gets tough with smokers
12 November 2004
MADRID-The Spanish health minister unveiled a wide-ranging new law to ban smoking in offices, hotels and other public places.
Elena Salgado outlined the draft bill which will apply to offices or hotels which are over 100sqm and enclosed, and which do not already have areas reserved for smokers.
The new law is also designed to limit the sale and supply of tobacco products.
It will also regulate advertising or promoting of cigarettes or other tobacco products.
Fifty thousand people die each year in Spain because of conditions linked to smoking.
The law will stop the sale or supply of tobacco to people aged under 18.
It will also list places where it will be illegal to smoke, including public places of work, private offices which have no ventilation, health centres, sports centres which are enclosed, teaching institutes, cultural centres, places where food is either prepared or served and on public transport and in stations.
In other places, the law will make proprietors provide smoking areas.
These will include offices, social centres, trading premises, hotels which are over 100sqm, theatres, cinemas, other entertainment venues and airports.
These smoking areas will have to comply with a number of regulations. They will have to sign-posted, separate from the rest of the office and have ventilation systems.
The draft law will comply with a European legal directive which bans cigarette advertising on radio, in the Press, in cinemas and on billboards.
The Spanish government is considering a report, based on data from the World Bank, into the possible effects of a rise in the price in cigarettes.
The report says a rise in price of 20 percent will see a fall in tobacco consumption by 8.6 percent – or 1,169,000 people giving up the habit.
Spain has some of the cheapest cigarettes among the 15 ‘original’ members of the EU.
A packet costs EUR 3.30. Only in Italy are cigarettes cheaper, where they sell for EUR 3.05.
In contrast, a packet costs EUR 8.60 in Ireland and 6.94 in France.
The new law is expected to come into action next year.
The Association of Tobacco Producers plans to sell a packet of so-called ‘blond’ tobacco – in contrast to the ‘black’ or stronger tobacco of brands like Ducados – for as little as EUR 1.15
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news