Spanish catering industry protests planned smoking ban

16th December 2009, Comments 6 comments

The government’s plan to ban smoking in enclosed public places such as bars and restaurants in 2010 may severely affect hotels and restaurants’ business, says industry.

Madrid – Spain's hotel and catering industry Tuesday protested a government plan to ban smoking in public places in 2010, warning that it could severely affect its business, already hit by the economic crisis.

"We are very concerned of the negative consequences" of this plan, said Jose Luis Guerra, deputy head of Spain's Hotel and Catering Association (FEHR).

"Our problem is that 40 percent of our customers link smoking with the consumption of products in hotels and restaurants," he told Spanish National Radio.

He predicted a fall of 10 percent in business if the ban is imposed.

Health Minister Trinidad Jimenez said Monday the government hopes to pass a law next year to ban smoking in enclosed public places such as bars and restaurants.

Spain already has an anti-smoking law in force since January 2006, less restrictive that in other European countries, which bans smoking in the workplace and on public transport but only partially in bars and restaurants.

"This comes at the worst moment for the catering industry in 15 years," said Guerra.

The Spanish economy, Europe's fifth biggest, remains mired in a recession that began in late 2008, with unemployment at around 19 percent.

AFP / Expatica

3 Comments To This Article

  • Ed Wolffe posted:

    on 16th December 2009, 14:32:11 - Reply

    Yes, "this will hurt business" is the most popular and frequent defense.
    It was the cry in New York, Atlanta, San Francisco, Paris, Rome, etc, etc, etc., But, then you read counter intuitive reports from restaurant owners stating that they actually had an increase in family business from non-smokers. In any event, The addiction to smoking is terrible and users will fight with every known excuse but in the end
    overall health issues will prevail as it has in so many other parts of the civilized world
  • Marc posted:

    on 16th December 2009, 11:54:03 - Reply

    Well said Laurel. Businesses will not suffer and anyone who thinks so is a fool (and needs to actually fact their facts). I lived through the smoking ban in San Francisco, and your right, biz did better at some bars after the ban.
    Jose Luis Guerra, deputy head of Spain's Hotel and Catering Association and the people who oppose should be angry at the bankers and corrupt politicians: They caused the "crisis" that we are all in now that has resulted in a REAL loss of business.
  • Laurel Avery posted:

    on 16th December 2009, 10:11:05 - Reply

    Hallelujah! It's about time Spain joined the civilised world. And all the moaning from the restaurant and hotel owners about how their businesses will be ruined is pure hogwash. If they look at the statistics, countries who have banned smoking in bars and restaurants have either seen no drop in business or have actually seen increases because people like myself who don't like coming home reeking of cigarette smoke will actually go out to bars and restaurants more often. I know that myself and my non-smoking friends plan to go out a lot more when this ban goes into effect.