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Cigarette sales on decline

Published on January 02, 2008

2 January 2008

MADRID – Two years after Spain introduced a comprehensive anti-smoking law, around 1.6 million Spaniards have stopped smoking and cigarette sales have steadily declined even though the legislation has not been applied uniformly in all parts of the country, anti-smoking campaigners said Tuesday.

The latest figures from the National Committee to Prevent Tobacco Addiction show that cigarette sales to the end of November last year amounted to 4.119 million units, compared to 4.131 million in the first 11 months of 2006 and 4.248 million during the same period in 2005.

However, the law has not had the same impact everywhere due largely to the lax compliance and enforcement of the measures by some regions in defiance of the central government. The Party of Non Smokers, an anti-tobacco group, said yesterday that it filed 700 complaints for incompliance with the law last year, of which 200 are currently under review in court.

Having watched Spain’s implementation of the anti-tobacco law closely over the last two years, neighbouring Portugal yesterday put into effect its own restrictions on smokers, banning tobacco use from all work places and enclosed public areas, including most bars and restaurants.

[Copyright El Pais / EMILIO DE BENITO 2008]

Subject: Spanish news