Spanish smokers can not longer smoke in public places such as bars, restaurants and cafes because the new law regarding to smoking prohibition in public areas has come into force.
Under the law, which got approval from parliament on December 21, children’s playgrounds, schools or hospitals are among forbidden places for smoking.
There is already one anti-smoking law in Spain, which prohibits tobacco use in the workplace, on public transport and in shops. However, it is less limiting than that in other European countries. According to this anti-smoking law, owners of bars, restaurants and cafes can decide whether to permit smoking or not. But most are confronted with a failure in business and that is why they allow customers smoking in their public houses.
Jose Luis Guerra, vice president of the Spanish Hotel and Catering Association, told that the government put ban without taking into account their numbers and without strict analysis. Jose Luis Guerra said that bars and restaurants came to harm because of the economic crisis, having 31 months of falling sales. He consider that the anti-smoking law will lead to 5 % fall in sales in restaurants, nearly 10 % in bars and 15 % in night clubs. He suggested a program resembling to that in France, which means that smoking places with ventilators are allowed.
Dominic Brisby, the president of Spanish tobacco company Altadis, a part of Britain’s Imperial Tobacco, said that this anti-smoking law is “one of the most radical anti-smoking laws in the world.” He added that this ban is stricter than in Ireland because there people have a possibility to smoke outdoors, but here smoking is forbidden in some areas. Brisby underlined that this ban will crash because great economic damage will be brought for smokers and nonsmokers.
A smoker, a 42-year-old, who was smoking in the overfull bar in Madrid, censured it as one pace backwards, particularly regarding the lifestyle they have in Spain, the social life in places like bars, restaurants and cafes.
Leire Pajin, Health Minister, has maintained the anti-smoking law, naming it conclusive pace in the protection of the health of the Spanish citizens. She added that it could be a benefit for bars as it would help non-smokers, particularly those with families, to smoke outdoors. But surely it will require some time because habits can not be changed in one day.
Alfonso Castro, co-owner of El Borbollon restaurant in Madrid said that this anti-smoking law would evidently inflict an injury on revenues. The restaurant’s owner adds that people will become accustomed to this ban and there won’t be any trouble and difficulty.
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