Spain - smoking ban to be implemented on January 1, 2010 still being delayed..

January 18, 2010 - Originally set to be implemented on the 1st of January this year, the smoking ban is still being debated in the halls of power here in Spain with opposition parties failing to agree and Madrid setting its own rules. (Spain - still some hesitation on total smoking ban for country..)

A survey has revealed that a total of 42 percent of people are against the move to ban smoking in bars, restaurants and shopping centres. Metroscopia interviewed 504 over-18s by telephone across the country and say that 16 percent are ‘mostly in agreement’ with the new law and 40 per cent are ‘very much in agreement’. In total, 11 per cent say they ‘opposed the move moderately’ and 31 percent were ‘totally against’ banning smoking in eateries and cafés.

Whilst the law was due to come into force on January 1 this year, it will in effect be rolled out over the course of 2010.

Many catering establishments are up in arms because they installed smoking areas with extractor fans at considerable cost four years ago, only to find that they have effectively thrown their money down the drain.

Health Minister Trinidad Jiménez says these restaurateurs will not receive any compensation or financial help as a result, because fitting smoking booths was ‘their own choice’.

In practice, their only other choice was to ban smoking on the premises, and most feared a huge drop in customer numbers if they did so.

DID YOU KNOW - Smoking is the biggest killer in Spain, with 50,000 smoking-related deaths annually. Did you know - fewer than 5% of Spanish women aged 45-74 smoke compared to nearly 40% of young (25-44) women in Spain.

Reference: Smoking ban opposed by 42 percent by: thinkSPAIN , 1/10/2010.

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