17 May, 2023 @ 15:12
1 min read

Anti-smoking association in Spain calls for ban on tobacco sales in bars, restaurants and petrol stations

Smoking Cigarrets Pixabay

AN ANTI-SMOKING association has called on the Spanish government to ban the sale of tobacco in bars, restaurants, hotels and petrol stations, as well as demanding that anyone who looks under the age of 30 should have to produce ID before being able to buy products such as cigarettes. 

Nofumadores.org (nosmokers.org) has made the demands after neighbouring Portugal announced that it would be restricting tobacco sales in its tobacconists and in airports from 2025 onward. 

What’s more, countries such as New Zealand have also announced that they will be reducing sales points for tobacco by 95%, according to news agency Europa Press. 

The president of nofumadores.org, Raquel Fernandez Megina, said that ‘drastic measures’ needed to be adopted by the health minister, Jose Miñones, ones that ensure that ‘people who want to stop smoking have all of the incentives they need to do so’.

Such measures, she continued, included making ‘buying tobacco as difficult as possible, making it expensive, and ensuring that smoking is not allowed anywhere’. 

She also demanded more action to prevent young people from starting to smoke or to vape in the first place.

Fernandez Megina described the presence of cigarette vending machines in bars as a ‘black spot’ that allows minors to buy tobacco, given that the remote controls operated by bar staff to permit sales are often not properly used and no age checks are carried out. 

According to the most recent figures from the European Health Survey, four in every 10 Spaniards are smokers, while 44% say that they are ex-smokers. 

In January 2011, Spain banned smoking in bars and restaurants after a partial ban was first introduced in 2008.

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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