Tough new smoking law for Spain
Spain has brought into force an anti-smoking law that is likely to turn the EU's fourth largest tobacco producer into one of Europe's most stringently smokeless.
The law prohibits lighting up in enclosed public places, although hotels are allowed to reserve 30pc of their rooms for smokers. In a particularly tough measure, outside smoking is banned in open-air children's playgrounds -- even those inside parks -- and at access points to schools and hospitals.
Parliament approved an anti-smoking law in 2006 that prohibited smoking in the workplace but allowed bar and restaurant owners to decide whether to allow smoking or not -- almost all permitted it.
Critics called that law a failure. Health Minister Leire Pajin said 50,000 people died each year in Spain as a result of smoking-related illnesses, with 1,200 of those being non smokers.