SPAIN’S ban on smoking in public spaces and in private workplaces has made a huge dent in tobacco sales in Cordoba.

The number of purchases has dropped significantly, with new legislation on menthol cigarettes set to bring the figures down even further.

Spain joined its European neighbours in banning smoking in public in 2006, in line with EU regulations.

The move was a clear statement of intent to improve the nation’s ever increasing problem with lung and heart disease.

Before the ban, 72 million packs of cigarettes were purchased throughout the province, but since then, figures have steadily dropped to bring the 2019 figure to 31.5 million packs.

The numbers were released in a recent report by the Tobacco Market Commission of the Ministry of Finance and covered from January 1 2006 when the ban came into force.

The legislation was reformed in 2011 when further restrictions were enforced regarding the sale, supply and advertising of tobacco products.

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Smoking in bars and restaurants was banned in 2006, with some regional governments now pushing for a blanket public ban

In 2007, the figures steadily declined to 66 million, before plummeting to 30.9 million in 2018, the lowest figure on record, with a slight rise to 31.5 million then recorded in 2019.

The numbers are reflected nationwide as well, falling 51.6% in the last 15 years.

In 2005, pre ban, cigarette sales reached peak levels of 4.6 billion whilst in 2019, sales dropped to 2.2 billion.

Andalucia has led the reduction, with a 57.1% decrease in sales closely followed by the Balearic Islands and the Basque Country.

Figures are set to drop even further with the Spanish Government’s news of a ban on menthol cigarettes in May this year.

The ban is designed to deter younger smokers from taking up the potentially deadly habit as studies showed that 66% of smokers took up smoking before the age of 18.

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