A total smoking ban in Spain 2011
Spain poised for tough no-smoking law.
Spain, a country famed for its smoke-filled bars, cafes and restaurants, is poised to enact a tough
new anti-smoking law, eliminating its status as Western Europe's last country where lighting up
in indoor public places is allowed.
The bill passed by the parliamentary commission calls for transforming all bars and restaurants into
no-smoking zones, bringing Spain in line with the European Union's strictest anti-smoking nations
and many U.S. states that bar smoking in enclosed public places. It's expected to pass the Senate
and become law on January 2011.
The law also will make Spain a tougher place to smoke than many other European countries
where bars and restaurants are still allowed to have smoking sections, and will prohibit smoking in
outdoor places such as play grounds and the grounds of schools and hospitals. The current law
put in place in 2006 prohibits smoking in the workplace, and workers puffing away just outside
their office buildings are a common sight. However, that law aimed at cracking down on smoking
permitted owners of most bars and cafes to decide on their own whether to allow smoking - and
almost all ended up doing so, leading critics to label the earlier law a total failure. Those bar and
cafe owners will lose the privilege, and larger restaurants that still have the smoking sections
will have to get rid of them.
Officials predict thousands of lives now lost to secondhand smoke will be saved. Bar and restaurant
owners hope to win an exception in the law allowing them to construct hermetically sealed smoking
sections, but the parliamentary commission voted down that option. Hotels will be allowed to set
aside 30 per cent of rooms for smokers. The bill endorsed by Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez
Zapatero and his governing Socialist Party next goes for debate in the senate where it is likely
to be approved quickly or sent back with minor changes for approval in the lower house.
It expects to lose business?
A man, who owns a small bar and smokes himself, expects to lose business because so
many of his regulars come every day for beers and Spanish tapas, and then automatically
light up, often passing away hours drinking and smoking with their friends. He said many others
also fear Spain could lose crucial tourism revenue because it's among the last European
nations where travelers are free to smoke in eateries.
Spain's main restaurant and bar federation predicted the law will lead to 145,000 lost jobs
and a 10 per cent decline in revenue for the sector, but the health ministry said similar
laws put in place in recent years in nations ranging from Britain to France and Italy did
not hurt business badly.
Health Minister Trinidad Jimenez noted that smokers will still be allowed to smoke on
the open-air terraces of bars, and many Spanish bars have them, often setting up
tables and chairs on the sidewalk. Other exceptions were provided for jails, psychiatric
institutions and retirement homes. A nonsmoker welcomed the law, saying he'll finally
be able to breathe cleanly when he goes out for a coffee or a beer. And the bars
themselves will be cleaner, because most Spanish bars let the smokers to put their
stubbed butts out on the floor.
Spain's National Committee for the Prevention of Smoking says up to 1,000 Spanish bar
waiters die yearly from lung cancer, mainly from breathing in so much secondhand smoke.
Many more lives would be saved eventually in Spain by making it more difficult for smokers
to puff away almost anywhere, said Dr. Jose Carreras who heads the anti-smoking unit
at Madrid's Hospital Carlos III. He said. "This means that in 20-year time, there will be
a decrease in deaths due to smoking-related diseases.
Source: The Associate Press October 20, 2010
Source: Spain TVE.: NHK TV, October 20, 2010
Spain's lawmakers voted for tough smoking ban.
The new law tightens restrictions introduced in 2006 by forbidding smoking in any enclosed
public space Spanish lawmakers have voted to approve a tough anti-smoking law, meaning
that from January, bars and restaurants will be no-smoking zones. Smokers will also not be
allowed to light up on television broadcasts, near hospitals or in the school playgrounds. The
bill, was passed in the lower house by 189 votes to 154. Bar and cafe owners fear the law
will adversely affect business.
Bar complaints Spain was once famed for its smoke-filled bars, corner cafes and restaurants,
but the new law tightens restrictions introduced in 2006 by forbidding smoking in any enclosed
public space. Tuesday's vote rejected a Senate amendment to allow casinos to have smoking
areas. Moves to allow bars to build sealed cubicles for smokers also failed. While the 2006
anti-smoking law prohibited smoking in the workplace, it came under fire for letting bar and
restaurant owners choose whether or not to allow smoking.
Source: BBC News 22 December 2010
Spain Introduces Tough New Smoking Ban
Spain has introduced one of Europe's toughest smoking bans that even prohibits lighting up in
open spaces like children's playgrounds and outside hospitals. Fines for breaking the ban,
which took effect in January 2010, range from 30 euros to 600,000 euros. Aside from playgrounds
and access points to schools and hospitals, smoking is also banned in bars, restaurants, disco,
casinos and airports. However, hotels are allowed to reserve 30% of their rooms for smokers.
Spain's Health Minister Leire Pajin previously said: "We should remember that more than 70%
of Spain's population are non-smokers. "So it is logical to think they will be more comfortable
in bars when there is no tobacco smoke in them." Fears are mounting that the ban at bars will
cost jobs The Spanish Federation of Hostelry estimates the ban could lead to the loss of up to
350,000 jobs, as many Spaniards will stay at home rather than go without a cigarette at bars.
At the same time, the government, struggling to pay off a huge deficit during an economic
slowdown, seems to be hoping the ban will not stop too many Spaniards from smoking.
Last month, among a battery of austerity measures, it announced a rise in tobacco tax
which it hopes will bring in an extra 780 million euros a year. Until now, bar owners could
decide whether to allow smoking, depending on the size of their premises, while larger bars
and restaurants had to have a designated smoking area. Similar legislation in Ireland has
had a limited economic effect. By 2012, all the 27 EU member states should have banned
smoking in enclosed zones.
Source: Sky News Online, UK, January 02, 2011
A tough new anti-smoking law has taken effect in Spain.
Photo source: AP
Spain has a strong cafe culture, and the owners of bars and cafes have complained the law will
hurt business. Hotel, restaurant and bar owners have said they could face a 10% drop in trade
with the new rules. The industry has already seen a sharp fall in sales due to Spain's economic
problems. However, doctors argue the new legislation will help smokers give up.
Some 50,000 Spaniards a year died from smoking-related illnesses, according to figures from
the Spanish health ministry, which estimates that "between three and nine" people a day
died because of passive smoking.
BBC News Europe January 02, 2011
Spain has introduced one of Europe's toughest smoking bans.
Aside from playgrounds and access points to schools and hospitals, smoking is also banned
in bars, restaurants, discotheques, casinos and airports. However, hotels are allowed to
reserve 30% of their rooms for smokers.
Spain's Health Minister Leire Pajin previously said: "We should remember that more than
70% of Spain's population are non-smokers. "So it is logical to think they will be more
comfortable in bars when there is no tobacco smoke in them."
Fears are mounting that the ban at bars will cost jobs The Spanish Federation of Hostelry
estimates the ban could lead to the loss of up to 350,000 jobs, as many Spaniards will stay
at home rather than go without a cigarette at bars.
At the same time, the government, struggling to pay off a huge deficit during an economic
slowdown, seems to be hoping the ban will not stop too many Spaniards from smoking. It
announced that a rise in tobacco tax which it hopes will bring in extra 668million pounds
(780 million euros) per annum.
By 2012, all the 27 EU member states should have banned smoking in enclosed zones.
Source: Sky News Online January 02, 2011
Spain's toughest smoking bans did not cause reductions in householdsf expenditures.
In January 2011, Spain modified clean air legislation in force, removing all existing exceptions
applicable to hospitality venues. Although this legal reform was backed by all political parties
with parliamentary representation, the government initiative was contested by the tobacco industry
and its allies in the hospitality industry. One of the most voiced arguments against the reform
was its potentially disruptive effect on the revenue of hospitality venues.
The researchers use household expenditure micro-data for years 2006 to 2012 to estimate models
for the probability of observing expenditures and the expected level of expenditure. They apply
a before-after analysis with a wide range of controls for confounding factors and a flexible modeling
of time effects in order to identify the effects of the reform.
Our results suggest that the reform caused a 2% reduction in the proportion of households
containing smokers but did not cause reductions in household's expenditures on restaurant
services or on bars and cafeteria services.
Source: Jaume Garcia Villar, PhD London School of Economics 2014
Forthcoming in European Journal of Health Economics.
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Introduction of Spain: The first Spain's law to restrict smoking enforced in 2006.
Spain enforced a total smoking ban in indoor public space in 2011.
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Barcelona tour Smoking ban in Spain in 2010
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This information was provided by the Smokefree Hotel and Travel.
The article was written in June 2010, and last revised in October 2014, by Junhaku Miyamoto, M.D., PhD.
Madrid, the Capital of Spain
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