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... up in smoke! PDF
Friday, 05 November 2010 16:00
 

Spain finally passes law to ban smoking in all bars and restaurants.

At last we’re going to get smoke-free bars and restaurants in Spain.  No longer will we be forced to passive-smoke, to wake up with a ticklish throat after a night out and to wash our stinking clothes after just one wearing.

It was high time that Spain got its act together on this issue as she is one of Western Europe's last remaining countries where lighting up in indoor public places is still allowed.

Four years after the law outlawing smoking in the workplace the Spanish parliamentary commission introduced a bill last month to make all bars and restaurants no-smoking zones, bringing Spain in line with the European Union's strictest anti-smoking nations.

This new legislation, which is expected to become law on 2 January 2011, will finally bring Spain into line with other countries that are serious about cracking down on smoking, like the UK and most of the rest of Europe. The problem with the 2006 law was that it permitted owners of most bars and cafés to decide on their own whether to allow smoking – and almost all ended up doing so, leading critics to label that law a total failure.

Those bar and café owners will now lose the privilege, and larger restaurants that still have smoking sections will have to get rid of them. Bar and restaurant owners had hoped to win an exception, allowing them to construct hermetically sealed smoking sections, but the parliamentary commission voted down that option.

On the other hand hotels will be allowed to set aside 30 per cent of their bedrooms for smokers.

The new law will also prohibit smoking in outdoor places such as playgrounds and the grounds of schools and hospitals.

Officials predict thousands of lives now lost to second-hand smoke in Spain will be saved.

The anti-smoking bill, endorsed by Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and his governing Socialist Party, now goes for debate in the Senate where, after possible minor changes, it is likely to be approved quickly in time to be become law on 2 January 2011, when we non-smokers can all breathe a smoke-free sigh of relief.

©  Paul Whitelock

See also:

Spain passes law to ban smoking  Daily Telegraph, 20/10/10

 

Tags: ban, smoking, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, bars, restaurants, Daily Telegraph, smoke-free bars and restaurants, passive-smoke, no-smoking zone, anti-smoking, smoking, anti-smoking bill, www.a1-solutions-spain.com

 

 

Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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