[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 15 December 2005, 17:41 GMT
Spain stamps on smoking at work
Spanish underground
Spanish smokers will have to step outside to have their cigarettes
Smoky Spanish restaurants and bars will soon be a thing of the past after MPs gave the final approval to a partial ban on smoking at work.

The ban, which comes into force on 1 January, includes public transport, theatres, bars and restaurants.

Employers in Spain with premises larger than 100sq m will have eight months to set up a separate smoking area.

A current ban on tobacco advertising on TV will be extended to billboards.

MPs rejected a Senate proposal to make anti-smoking treatments available on the state health service, despite medical advice that only one in 20 smokers could stop without treatment.

The Spanish Parliament led by example in September last year by banning smoking in its corridors.

Step outside

The new law has caused much debate across Spain, with many thinking the legislation goes too far too quickly.

"I think it's a bit drastic," smoker Susana Serrai told the Associated Press.

"I agree that one shouldn't smoke in the workplace but I can't agree with not being able to smoke anywhere like restaurants and bars. But I guess we'll have to get used to it."

But travel agent Javier Reverte, also a smoker, disagreed.

"I'm all in favour, I think it's good to have to step outside to smoke," he told AP. "You can appreciate breathing in a clean environment and I personally am thankful."

Similar bans have been imposed in a number of other European Union countries including Ireland and Italy.

Spanish MPs barred from smoking
01 Sep 04 |  Europe
Smoking curbs: The global picture
01 Jun 04 |  In Depth
Irish smoking rebel fined
20 Jul 04 |  Europe
Should smoking be banned?
01 Jul 04 |  Have Your Say
Q&A: Passive smoking
30 Jun 04 |  Medical notes

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific