Spanish Smoking Ban NOT to be amended?

H/T Lecroix Kwdjer in the comments, and after reporting a few days ago that the Spanish smoking ban looked set to be relaxed, it now looks like it isn’t:

El Ministerio de Sanidad, Servicios Sociales e Igualdad no tiene previsto modificar la ley del tabaco, ya que su objetivo prioritario, han informado fuentes de este Departamento, es preservar la salud de los ciudadanos

translation: The Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equal is not modifying the tobacco law, as its priority objective, sources have informed this Department is to preserve the health of citizens

In the report above, however, it does say that changing the law is not a “priority objective”, which leaves open the possibility for the law to be amended at a later date.

But it seems that Spain’s smokers were expecting the law to be changed. In a comment here yesterday, Lecroix Kwdjer wrote:

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.

I’m not living in Spain, so I don’t know what the response to this is likely to be, but I can’t imagine many people (apart from antismokers) are going to be at all happy. Rajoy gave a small hint just before the election that he thought the current ban was too extreme, and his Health Minister, Ana Mato, was reported to have a change of the law on her to-do list. What happened?

Well, it could be (as I’ve said) that changing the law isn’t an immediate priority. Or it could be that it was a cynical ploy to boost the vote of Rajoy’s Popular Party, and there never was any intention to change the law (after all, it wasn’t in the PP’s manifesto). Or it could be that, once in office, something happened to change Rajoy’s and Mato’s minds – like maybe some word from the EU that any change in the law would not be readily accepted in Brussels?

Either way, I’m not terribly surprised. But if hopes have been raised and then dashed, it will make for a lot of angry and bitter Spaniards.

P.S. El Pais.


About Frank Davis

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11 Responses to Spanish Smoking Ban NOT to be amended?

  1. lysistratatheoriginal says:

    In Greece we too had our hopes raised and then dashed in, I think, October 2010.

    However, this is Greece.

    The ashtrays slowly started to creep back on to the tables, like an unstoppable army of tiny upside-down tortoises obligingly climbing up table legs and repositioning themselves in their rightful places.

    Just over a year later the ban still hasn’t been amended but it is totally ignored everywhere. I suspect Spain may go the same way.

  2. A similar thing was suggested at one point a long long time ago in Italy and nothing happened although there is a situation somewhat like that in Greece.

  3. Tim Paton says:

    Sorry to be a devils advocate. When I read “The Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equal is not modifying the tobacco law, as its priority objective, sources have informed this Department is to preserve the health of citizens” I thought that the part of the sentence ‘as it’s priority objective’ belonged to the words that came before it, ‘not modifying the tobacco law’.
    Unfortunately, on second reading, it became glaringly obvious that it was more likely to be saying … ‘as it’s priority objective ……… is to preserve the health of citizens”. Sorry, it’s the old SHS myth again.

  4. You might need to ask Javier, Frank. I am at a loss. None of this was expected. I tell ya, almost every smoker I know invited me to visit smokeasies, for the ban was expected to be history. Antismokers pages were filled, just yesterday, with complaints about bars, pubs, bingos, openly flouting the ban and asking for ways to anonimously report them to the police. They took for granted the ban was to be amended. And now, a few hours ago, everything crumbled. Every fighter is in a state of disbelief. And every fucking bastard antismoker is trolling our pages in glee. You bet we are angrier and bitterer than ever before. The “conservative” PP played us for fools.

  5. Now smokers in Spain must feed the underground movement. The system has failed in Spain as well. Democracy no longer works. It is not as if I have not been warned in this blog. Guess I was naive enough to believe. It is a bitter defeat when no political party defends freedom. The very simple freedom of a bar owner to choose its clientele. Yet, we must fight on. The Uk has been under the same draconian, unjust law, for four years. I had hoped Spain would turn the tide and help amend the ban in the UK. I guess now we are all in the same, antismoker boat, for years to come. We must keep fighting. Anger is a powerful tool.

  6. And yes, after the 30th of december this year, my first anniversary, a full year without spending a single cent in any bar or restaurant, I will reconsider spending a few euros in smokeasies. No other option remaining, a bar will let me smoke inside, or no deal.

  7. No need for any luck, James. Every smoker I know has been insisting I must visit smokeasies. They are everywhere in Spain. I was just too stubborn to visit any. I might now reconsider.

  8. It cant last,a law so many are against cannot stand! Its just simple human nature,it cant last.

    When the EU collapses it will all go away anyhow………Thye cant keep printing EUROS and dollars forever,now can they.

  9. magnetic01 says:

    You and your readers might be interested in this link. It’s what happens when medicos get the opportunity to push their physicalist framework. Physicalists view people as just another animal, slightly more complex than rats. And they view society as a lab of rats which they rule. Properly speaking, they view humans as a “herd” that can be “engineered” along certain physical dimensions (i.e., eugenics).

    In an effort to keep health-care costs in check, the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio took a hard line to improve the health of its employees, The Washington Post reported earlier this year. It fired physicians who refused to quit smoking. It eliminated almost all fried foods, sugary sodas and trans fats from its campus. It offered free fitness and stress-management classes to its workers. And it began keeping track of its employees’ blood pressure, lipids, blood sugar, weight and smoking habits. If any of these are “abnormal,” the clinic requires that a doctor certify that the employee is taking measures to control them or else they don’t receive an insurance rebate.

    You might also be interested in a series of posts by “Shadow Guest” on Siegel’s blog concerning apartment bans in Australia. The push for such bans will be coming to the UK, if it’s not there already.

    • chris sorochin says:

      Did you read the comment that started by stating “A healthy chocolate does not exist.”??? Sounds familiar, no?

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