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.