Smokers face further restrictions if new legislation planned by the Health Ministry goes. A draft proposal released last month suggests that tobacco taxes will be increased, while smoking will be banned on bar and restaurant terraces, as well as in private vehicles, before 2023.
However, legal experts quickly warned that smoking inside a smoker’s own car could be “unconstitutional. Juan José Bestard, President of the Sanitary Section of the Madrid Bar Association said it was a “complex” matter because, “there is legal coverage as long as it seeks to protect the health of the passengers, especially minors.” He added that limiting a smoker’s right to smoke while alone is, “debatable.”
While smokers and the hospitality sector are unenthusiastic about the Government’s “Comprehensive Plan for the Prevention and Control of Smoking 2021-2025” which aims to reduce tobacco consumption by 30 per cent in three years, family doctors have welcomed it. They are calling for the proposals to be implemented as quickly as possible, adding that the draft includes measures proposed by them to ensure that Spain reaches objectives for quitting smoking set by the World Health Organisation.
Other proposals in the draft include restrictions on tobacco-related advertising, and an end to “covert” tobacco advertising on social networks plus a generic style of packaging.