May 14, 2010 - Health Minister Trinidad Jimenez said during an interview on the Cadena Ser television station that she believes Spanish society is “mature enough” to accept a total ban on smoking in all public places.
Jiménez, has said that a new, more-widespread ban on smoking in public places would be introduced by January 1 at the latest. At the beginning of 2006, Spain banned tobacco smoking in most enclosed public places but only restricted it in bars and restaurants. (Spain's anti-smoking law has no effect)
The new law would prohibit smoking in all enclosed public areas, such as bars and restaurants, though hotels would be able to reserve some of their rooms for smokers.
The government is also studying the question of smoking in outdoor public areas, such as terrace bars and sports stadiums.
There was no further word on the question of compensation for the many catering establishments that installed smoking areas with extractor fans in line with the smoking restrictions introduced four years ago. Jiménez has so far ruled out any compensation for these businesses.
More than 55,000 people die from smoking-related diseases in Spain every year. The minister calculated that 70% of the Spanish population are in favour of a total ban.
References: Spain to call time on smokers, Tobacco Reporter, 5/13/2010; Minister moots tougher smoking ban , National News, 5/14/2010.
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