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Spain's anti-smoking law is finalised

Thu 3rd Jun 2010

The Ministry for Health has released more information with regards to the stricter anti-smoking legislation which was initially intended to come into effect over the summer, but now looks likely to become law from January 1 2011.

Recent modifications to the proposed law and the new dates for implementation were given in a statement made by the Health Minister, Trinidad Jiménez.

Smoking is to be banned in all closed public areas, but will be allowed on terraces and in sports stadiums and bullrings.

It will also be permitted in hotel rooms, and in specially designated areas in prisons and mental institutions, but will not be allowed at social events such as weddings, communions or baptisms, as these are considered as being closed public spaces.

Some politicians have said that this does not go far enough and called for smoking to be banned in children's parks and outside play areas, and outside hospitals, but this has been rejected in the new draft.

The new legislation will also allow tobacco in smoking clubs as they can be considered as being a private place where workers and waiters have the option of choice.

Changes to the law also permit the sale of cigarettes in places where their use is banned, such as in bars. The previous law imposed vending machines, but is now to be changed as the Health Ministry notes the argument that it is the use of cigarettes which is being legislated against, and not their sale.

Now that it now has cross party approval from the three, the legislation is now expected to be quickly brought into effect. The Minister has said on several occasions that Spain is now ‘mature enough' to face the prohibition of smoking in public places.

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