Number of non-smoking bars and restaurants drops

Number of bars and restaurants where smoking is prohibited has gone down in Spain

After carrying out a survey on bars and restaurants where smoking is banned in Spain the National Committee for the prevention of Tobacco Addiction (CNPT) has discovered that the number of premises where smoking is prohibited has gone down to 26% compared to 38% last year.

According to this organisation the Anti-tobacco Law which came into effect on 1st January 2006 urgently needs reforming as at present it ´is not worth the paper it is written on´ and in most towns and villages in Spain it is impossible to find a bar or restaurant where smoking is prohibited. The CNPT advocates a total ban on smoking in bars and restaurants like in other EU states such as the United Kingdom, Italy and Ireland.

A spokesperson for the CNPT said that a lot of private companies and Spanish Universities are responsible for infringing the anti-tobacco law.

The Committee has found that 95% of restaurants less than 100 m2 are still full of smoke, sometimes more than before the anti-tobacco laws came into effect and more than 60% of those over 100 m2 do not protect non-smokers from smoke.

According to María Ángeles Planchuelo, the president of the CNPT, the best solution would be for the central government to reinforce the present law and make it less ambiguous. If this is not possible then the CNPT believes that regional authorities in Spain should impose restrictions and make improvements to the law.

Aragon has taken the lead in this respect by initiating a process of perfecting the anti tobacco legislation which involves all sectors of society including the main trade unions, the hotel sector and consumer organisations. The Health Services of Catalonia, Navarra and Andalucía have also expressed their support for independent intervention.

The Committee said that permissiveness in the anti-tobacco law would eventually cost the lives of 800,000 restaurant workers.

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