April 16, 2010 - This was announced by the Spanish health minister, Trinidad Jimenez, on Thursday, April 15th in an interview with state-owned TV station TVE-1.
The Health Ministry spokeswoman said, "The law will be sent to Congress, there could be a debate and then a period of adaptation for the law." Last year, Jimenez said Spain was "mature enough" for a full smoking ban.
On Monday, February 15th the Spanish government postponed a parliamentary debate on tougher anti-smoking legislation in the hope of mustering more support for the controversial plan. (Spain - government postpones debate on tougher smoking legislation..
In 2006, Spain - one of Western Europe’s last bastions for those who love to light up - banned smoking in offices, public buildings and on public transport. It allowed bars and restaurants less than 100 sq meters in size - which make up about 80% of all such establishments - to make their own decision on whether to ban smoking, while larger venues were forced to have a separate designated smoking area. Few owners enforce the law or have installed nonsmoking sections. But unlike countries such as Ireland and France, prohibition has never really been taken seriously. (First effects of anti-smoking laws in Spain, News from Spain, Sunday, January 8, 2006)
In Spain, Imperial Tobacco Group PLC's (IMT.LN) Fortuna and Ducados brands are popular, while Phillip Morris International Inc.'s (PM) Marlboro and L&M brands are also big sellers. Both companies are Spain's biggest players in the tobacco market and are likely to be the most affected by any drop in consumption.
Reference: Spain Govt Prepares Law To Ban Smoking In Indoor Public Places By Jason Sinclair, Dow Jones Newswires; 34 91 395 8127; firstname.lastname@example.org The Wall Street Journal, 4/15/2010; Smoking: Spanish ban gets tough by Karl Dowling, euranet.eu/eng (European Radio Network), 1/19/2010.
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