Spanish Smoking Ban to be Amended?

H/T to Lecroix Kwdjer (aka Hal) in the comments for the following news from Spain.

El Club de Fumadores por la Tolerancia espera que la nueva ministra de Sanidad, Servicios Sociales e Igualdad, Ana Mato, acometa la flexibilización de la actual ley del tabaco, sugerida por el propio Mariano Rajoy durante la campaña…

which roughly means: The Smokers’ Club for Tolerance hopes that the new minister of Health, Social Services and Equality, Ana Mato, moves swiftly to amend the smoking ban, as suggested by Mariano Rajoy during the campaign…

Also, published yesterday in Madrid’s ABC, the aforementioned Ana Mato lists as the 5th item in her agenda

the first bit of which means: To change the tobacco law (i.e. the smoking ban).

So things are looking rather promising for an amendment of the Spanish smoking ban, first hinted at by the new Spanish prime minister Rajoy  shortly before last month’s election. Rajoy formally takes office today, I believe.

There have been a lot of protests against the draconian Spanish smoking ban, which came into force in January this year. There have been numerous public demonstrations against it, and bar owners across Spain have been vociferous in complaining at the loss of customers and jobs resulting from it, and a number of high profile Spaniards (writers, artists, musicians, and so on) have added their voices. There was also a petition, signed by several hundred thousand people, calling for its amendment.

It would be a considerable blow to Tobacco Control  for Spain to amend its smoking ban. It would show, as if it needed to be shown, that these things are not irreversible, and that the march of the bans is not something unstoppable.

And, still in Spain, today I was rather moved to find that the spokesman for El Club de Fumadores por la Tolerancia, Javier Blanco Urgoiti, had sent me (and a number of other people) a family Christmas card on Facebook. Which was very kind of him, because I have really contributed very little to the Spanish struggle against the forces of antismoking darkness, apart from a few words of encouragement.

I reproduce it because I’m sure it’s as much intended for my readers and commenters (some of whom are far more active in Spain than I am) as it is for me. And because it goes to show that this is truly an international struggle on which we are engaged.

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18 Responses to Spanish Smoking Ban to be Amended?

  1. Excellent and high time,hopefully a complete rout!

  2. It would also show that a government has recognised that smoking bans harm or destroy businesses. And, perhaps cynically, that if this government continued to support the ETS myth, money comes before health. I suppose it would depend on what kind of amendment, but the myth would have to be questioned for them to save face. When TC objects to such a move (which, of course it would), perhaps it’ll be a case of ‘biting the hand etc’. What is certain is that ministers would claim that they relied 100% on expert advice, hence providing them with a scapegoat. Assuming the world doesn’t end in 2012, perhaps we can look forward to the return of common sense in the next few years.

  3. IF the commy shits at the E.U allow them to, that is.

  4. The EU wont survive,how long can you last on imaginary money in sums so vast it becomes worthless!
    Power lies in money and those who have it………….The EU has no money except to beg and the ones their begging dont have it so they mouse click print it!

    One morning in the not so far off future they will wake up to reality as the banks fold,businesses collapse and governments fall………… already happened

  5. jredheadgirl says:

    This is good news! Merry Christmas Frank:-)

  6. beobrigitte says:

    I had read about the smoking ban in Spain being amended after 22.12.11. – glad to see it’s not only a rumour!

    I wonder if Arnott et al hurriedly publish:

    Can the Dutch Spanish Government really be abandoning smokers to their fate?

    And because it goes to show that this is truly an international struggle on which we are engaged.
    Indeed it is.

  7. It seems that pharma nicotine replacement giant J&J didn’t buy off ALL the politicians in Europe, and those they did are now being voted out of office. HURRAY~ Now we need to get the paid off crooks out of the United Nations! This drug money to Europe, alot of it is funneled thrrough TObacco Control at the UN.

  8. Their spinning again,Ive already doused much of what they claim in this story!

    600,000 people kick the habit in first year of Spain’s extended smoking legislation

    Read more:

  9. The CNPT National Committee for the Prevention of Smoking says that 500,000 fewer packets of cigarettes have been sold during that time.

    Yep,the blackmarket is where they bought their smokes……….

    Cigarette smuggling soars in Spain after tax hike: company

    The sale of smuggled cigarettes in Spain has soared since the government raised the tax rate on tobacco, a spokesman for Franco-Spanish tobacco producer Altadis said Monday.

    The company estimates smuggled cigarettes accounted for around six percent of Spain’s total cigarette consumption during the first three months of the year, compared to just one percent in all of 2010, the spokesman said.

    The problem is especially high in the southwestern region of Andalusia as a significant amount of smuggled cigarettes enter Spain from the nearby British territory of Gibraltar, he added.

    The prices of cigarettes in Spain have risen by around 40 percent since June 2009 due to a series of tax hikes, with a packet of Marlboro now costing 4.25 euros ($6.04) from 3.10 euros.

    Altadis is a unit of Britain’s Imperial Tobacco Group, Europe’s second-biggest tobacco company.

    Imperial Tobacco makes Davidoff, West, Drum, Golden Virginia and Lambert & Butler cigarettes while Altadis manufactures Fortune, Gitanes and Ducados.

    Read more:

  10. The Committee notes that the legislation has not had a negative effect on bars and restaurants, nor on tourism which rose by 7% in 2011. Compliance with the law is high, and ‘it has been accepted by the Spanish as if it were natural, apart from some isolated incidents’, they said

    Couldnt be all those smoking tourists flying down to buy up bootleg smokes now would it!

    Cigarette smuggling crackdown in Spain

    BRITISH expats are being offered cash rewards for information about suspected tobacco smugglers.

    The HM Revenue & Customs campaign aims to clamp down on illegal imports of cigarettes to Spain – many of which come via the Gibraltar border.

    Around 225 million cigarettes and several tonnes of tobacco destined for the UK have been seized in Spain over the last year.

    “We hope the public will help us come down hard on the smugglers and fraudsters who cheat the rest of us by not making their full contribution to the cost of public services,” said an HMRC spokesman.

    “These people are criminals who we want to catch.”

    Read more:

  11. Harleyrider1978, now more than ever, bars and restaurants flout the ban. And I have the two greatest sources available: bars and restaurants (and bingos/casinos) plus all the buzz in antismoker groups. Antismokers have their hands full trying to send the police to every stablishment flouting the ban. They are becoming desperate. Out of their minds. ’cause they can’t stop it. What Mr. Rajoy said before being elected, fueled not just hopes, but sheer rebellion. The media keeps spewing false numbers, but other media report widespread noncompliance. At noon, time for tapas and wine, most follow the ban. At night, many just bring the ashtrays inside and tell smokers it’s ok to come in. That is the reality of things right now. There is no single smoker around me, that has not offered me a place where one can have a beer and a smoke, inside. From twentysomethings to seventysomethings, they all know places and times. I am just three days away from my first aninversary. That is, soon it will be a year since I stepped into a bar or restaurant. To me, my very own personal opinion, it would be dumb to spend money in a bar o restaurant if I can’t smoke inside. But after my anniversary, I might reconsider. After all, I´d rather favor smokeeasies with my euro. They figh for us.

  12. Thats my attitude too. My local wafflehouse tried to go smokefree a month or so back telling everybody they were going smokefree jan 1. I raised a bytch all the way to corporate offices and spoke with a vice president……..I went back last week and asked if they were still going smokefree jan 1..I got told well no sir our corporate has never given us such instructions!

    If I cant smoke in it,I dont go in it and anybody that knows me. Knows this is hard fact!

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  15. David Allen says:

    Smokers are just disgusting filthy addicts that should be forced to stop polluting the breathing space of right thinking people. I will be horrified if the Spanish govt back down to the stupid people that like to harm themselves and don’t care if they harm others along the way. There are too many smokers in Spain because in the past Spain has not educated the public of the harm caused by smoking as has happened in other countries. Now Spain has to catch up.

    Let’s also have a law making it against the law to smoke in a car if there are children in there too.

    • Frank Davis says:

      From facebook

      David Allen
      Studied Fine art at Leeds Art
      Lives in Santa Cristina De Aro, Cataluna, Spain
      Knows British English, Spanish, German, Catalan, French
      From Sutton Coldfield

      So, right, you’re an Englishman who lives in Spain, and you don’t want Spanish people to be able to smoke in the restaurants and bars of their own country, just because you – a guest in their country – don’t like it.

      You filthy, arrogant, little cunt.

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