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Smoking related deaths in Spain fall by 1'500

Fri 12th Feb 2010

The number of tobacco-related deaths has fallen by 1,500 a year in Spain since the anti-smoking laws were introduced in 2005, according to a report published today by the Spanish Society of Epidemiology.

"We are convinced that the new laws have helped reduce mortality, although smoking was already on the decline when the regulations were introduced, so we estimate that some 900 deaths would have been avoided anyway and some 600 are a direct result of the 2005 legislation", said Manel Nebot, one of the coordinators of the working group on smoking.

The other coordinator, Esteve Fernández, added that these figures were "conservative" because they are "only based on deaths from myocardial infarction and lung cancer, whereas there are many other illnesses linked to tobacco".

The study also concludes that "the 2005 legislation has not had a negative impact on the catering trade, neither in terms of number of staff employed, nor in terms of sales", leading Nebot to believe that any arguments against a further tightening the laws for economic reasons are "artificial".

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