Spanish lawmakers pave way for tougher smoking rules

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Spanish lawmakers on Wednesday approved tougher anti-smoking legislation which would ban lighting up in public places including bars, the socialist's parliamentary group said.

The new law, given the green light by the parliament's health committee, would ban smoking in bars and restaurants to protect employees, non-smokers, minors and families, the group said in a statement.

The law, which will next go before the Senate, should come into force on January 2.

Smoking would also be banned in parks for children, plus hospital and school campuses, while sales of tobacco would be more tightly controlled.

A 2006 law bans smoking in workplaces and enclosed public spaces, but it is far weaker than laws in other European countries.

© 2010 AFP

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