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Are tougher anti-smoking laws necessary?

10:52 UK time, Sunday, 2 January 2011

A tough new anti-smoking law has taken effect in Spain. Will the law stop people from smoking?

The ban - one of the strictest in Europe - outlaws smoking in all bars and restaurants. Smokers will also be prohibited on television broadcasts, near hospitals or in school playgrounds.

Hotel, restaurant and bar owners have said they could face a 10% drop in trade with the new rules. But doctors argue the new legislation will help smokers give up and could reduce the numbers of deaths from smoking and passive smoking.

Are you in Spain? What are your thoughts about the ban? Are tougher restrictions necessary? If you are a smoker would tougher restrictions help you quit? Will the restrictions harm businesses?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 9

  • Comment number 1.

    Either an activity is 'legal' or it is not.

    It is time the arrogant busybodies made up their minds. Outlaw smoking and have the same success as US Prohibition or the 'war against drugs' or realise that people are quite capable of making up their own minds, and that individual businesses are able to decide what they will and will not permit on their premises.

    As a lifelong non-smoker I am fed up with the arrogance of those who think they have the right to decide what I ought to do. They can choose for themselves, and I shall choose for myself. Butt out!!!

  • Comment number 2.

    We have far more than enough legislations in the UK. Give people some freedom!!

  • Comment number 3.

    Ah at last another topic, unfortunately nothing to do with the UK.
    Not much interest there then. Our anti smoking laws are quite clear and established so I thought.

  • Comment number 4.

    As a non-smoker, i`m fed up with the arrogance of smokers having taken over doorway entrances ouside pubs, cafes, especially hospitals, banks just about anywhere. There they are huddled together like penguins, dragging away surrounded in smoke as though the last fag was going out of production, as for trying to get past them, virtually no chance-even if you excuse yourself without getting the gas, cough or some remark that indicates they have this patch and you are a nuisance. Tighten up the laws make them smoke away from doorways and entrances, second lung smoke ugh, give me a bucket.

  • Comment number 5.

    I can't say what the effect in Spain will be but I can recount my own personal observations of my families smoking activities since the ban on smoking in pubs here.

    On a typical Saturday afternoon I will go to the pub with my brothers , one of which smokes substantially along with my father and sometimes other friends and family. Before the ban my brother would practically chain smoke during the afternoon - putting one out, only to light up another within a couple of minutes. I would observe him doing this almost subconsciously, his hands would move whilst talking and would reach for the cig packet and lighter and he would have another one in his mouth before he knew it. Being a sociable animal he would offer them around and others would therefore be smoking also. We would all reek of cig smoke after an hour.

    Since the ban we still go for our Saturday drink (and incidentally none of us believe the ban has had any effect on pubs closing - it's the price of beer that the breweries charge their own pubs) but now, in order to smoke a conscious effort has to be made as there is now the physical act of going outside to be done before one can be lit. My brother will now smoke approx 3-4 cigs during the afternoon, about one per hour, whereas before he would be getting through approx 15 cigarettes in the same period. The smoking has also changed into a less sociable activity not more as I would have thought. The smokers I know now tend to smoke their own cigs rather than each others as some people will want to go outside and others won't be that bothered.

    Obviously there are health gains and I don't stink like an ashtray and I have no objections to the ban at all although I think a compromise could have been made with the addition of sealed & ventilated 'smoking rooms' in pubs.

  • Comment number 6.

    LIFETIME ODDS OF DYING IN AN ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENT: 1 in 240

    We live in a world of risk. You quit driving (which I don't) and I'll quit smoking.

  • Comment number 7.

    This has nothing to do with smoking, non of the smoking laws do, they re about CONTROL, constant fear of authority, for 1984 has become the new handbook for the EU.

  • Comment number 8.

    I am currently in Spain and have been here since before Xmas, socialising with Spaniards as much as Britons living here. I welcome the ban; going into bars and other public places and smelling tobacco smoke again was definitely an unwelcome experience - very retrograde. The number of people who smoke here, young as well as older, is depressing. So many ruined lives. In my own case, my father, best friend and a host of acquaintances who could not give up. I take the view that if I can smell it, it will be doing me harm. If all you smokers want to kill yourselves by ignoring the warnings, then fine. Just don't take me with you please.

  • Comment number 9.

    Smoking is lawful. Unhealthy, I agree, and some would consider the habit to be anti-social. Nonetheless it is a legal activity.
    Many companies had smoking rooms which have now been removed, thus forcing smokers to go outside.
    Yes they will stand together because they will gather around the ash-tray supplied. If it is by the front door it is probably because there is no other place for them.
    Sadly, there is an element of intolerance towards smokers in the work-place which, to be honest, would not be acceptable for any other group of people.

  • Comment number 10.

    Does anyone actually believe this makes the world a better place? Does anyone actually believe 2nd hand smoke is actually more dangerous? Is anyone foolish to believe the uptight anti-liberty crew will fill in the void left by smokers in pubs? Nope, nope, and don't bet on it. This world is getting pretty silly. We used to be people who would put up with hardships and discomfort. Now we seek to outlaw everything that could offend anyone. A sad state of affairs indeed.

  • Comment number 11.

    Smoking should not be banned, but recognised as a minority pursuit which, to respect the non-smoking majority, should be carried out by consenting adults in private. Outdoor public places are not, by definition, 'private'
    Perhaps one of the smokers will provide an equally polite and simple rebuttal of this proposal, and one which doesn't rely on a distorted interpretation of 'freedom'?

  • Comment number 12.

    YES!!!
    Anti-Smokers should be banned completely

  • Comment number 13.

    Spain's new law will only bring them into line with present-day UK law so what is the fuss all about?
    As a smoker, I will not stop until tobacco is classified similar to Marijuana, that's what it's going to take to make an impact for me personally and even then it will not stop for many others. Successive governments have been pussyfooting around with tobacco advertising, increasing tax on tobacco products, smoking prohibition in public areas, all with marginal impact as some stop, others start. A classic example of timid governments who want your money in the form of tax and little real concern for the harm tobacco can inflict.

  • Comment number 14.

    Perhaps those people who object to this ban also object to the fact that the law also prohibits other people from urinating on them - because, after all, that would be less harmful, easier to clean off and wouldn't smell so bad.

    Every smoker still has the freedom to poison themselves, shorten their life and stink like dog faeces. This ban simply goes toward prohibiting them from imposing the disgusting fallout of their drug addiction on other people.

  • Comment number 15.

    The article states that passive smoking kills 4 people per day in Spain. PROVE IT. Prove that a single person on earth has ever died from passive smoking. You can't. Passive smoking is a fraud. It smells bad, it makes your clothes stink, but you can't prove its actually harmful when you have so many other toxins in the air that people breath. And of course you have people whining about smelling smoke in front of buildings. Well, that's what you get when you force people outside.


    Should we all get to ban things we don't like, should we all ban behaviors we don't like, uh oh, that might impact you.

    A smoking ban in a pub is possibly the stupidest thing ever, it's not like bars are health spas. People drinking toxic alcohol, eat fried, fatty foods and have drunken, casual sex. And you're worried about the smoke??

  • Comment number 16.

    The WHO says smoking is responsible for as many as four million deaths each year of which a quarter are related to heart disease and research suggests that smoke-free workplaces have lead to a 10 to 20 percent decrease in hospital admissions for heart disease a year after a smoking ban.


    Enough said!

  • Comment number 17.

    I too am a life-long non-smoker (may I make it very clear that that's "non" not "anti") and agree absolutely with Megan at #1.

    As for the risible comment in the "news" page that "4 per day die from passive smoking"...? Yeah... And the proof is? (Other than concocted and manipulated "studies" from highly partisan and distinctly untrustworthy pressure groups).

    NB. Also agree with #12. Imagine a world run by whords of Gillian Whatsernames.

  • Comment number 18.

    LIFETIME ODDS OF DYING IN AN ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENT: 1 in 240

    We live in a world of risk. You quit driving (which I don't) and I'll quit smoking.

    ------------
    You quit smoking around those who don't and I promise not to run you over!

  • Comment number 19.

    The anti smoking rules are made out of hatred of smokers, when they could make exceptions that don't put any non smokers in the line of fire. Separately ventilated areas where only smokers would enter. But that's not good enough, the banners just don't like smoking, and want to punish smokers. Imagine if rules like this were made for other groups, especially homosexuals, where the rule was made simply out of hatred for the group? A lot more people die or get sick from sexually related behaviors than have from passive smoking. you cannot prove ONE SINGLE person has ever died from passive smoking.

  • Comment number 20.

    Forgot to mention... I wonder how the ban will get on in Spain, bearing in mind that (a) almost everyone smokes, and (b) in the past I've seen members of the Guardia Civil (paramilitary police, nasty devils on the whole) walk into a smoke-filled "non-smoking" bar, sit down get a beer and "spark up". :-)

  • Comment number 21.

    Steve at #16... Indeed the W.H.O. have claimed that - unfortunately it's not true. there's been no noticeable change in admissions for heart disease since the inception of assorted smoking bans. The WHO, like ASH, are notorious for being economical with the truth.

  • Comment number 22.

    Two words justify anti-smoking laws: passive smoking. It is simply indisputable that smokers do not have the right to kill others with their bad habit.

    Four non-smoking spaniards die every day, according to the article above.

  • Comment number 23.

    No they are not required. Smoking is a legal activity and the current smoking laws should be scrapped altogether. Pubs, restaurants etc should be allowed to decide for themsleves whether to permit smoking on their OWN premisses.

  • Comment number 24.

    We have nowhere near sufficient legislation yet. Everyone who uses a vehicle (car, van, taxi, bus etc) should be forced to give up passive motoring, for a start, as they contribute to the filth in the air all of us - including smokers "huddled" outside - are obliged to breathe.
    Anyone wishing to consume a second alcoholic beverage at a pub or restaurant should have to carry it to a secure location (or holding pen) where they can be monitored and prevented from interfering with others; or breathing fumes into people's faces (yuch!).
    Anyone over a certain girth should likewise be banned from using escalators or lifts, or clogging up the limited space in buses, trains and planes (which costs the rest of the population more and increases the average carbon footprint). Plus, of course, it would be for their own good, whether they like it or not.
    Such measures will, furthermore, significantly reduce unemployment as they will require another echelon of officials to police them.
    QED

  • Comment number 25.

    People do not walk in front of moving cars because they take responsibility of their own health and know it can kill them.
    Pretty much the same way as a non-smoker wouldn't walk into a smoking room.
    Why do non-smokers appear to be more stupid and need protecting more than your basic pedestrian?
    In supporting these bans you are compounding your own stupidity.
    We'll need to protect them from boiling water next.

  • Comment number 26.

    yes ... the law is NOT there to STOP people Smoking it is there to Protect NON smokers .. If Smokers thought before lighting up then there would be no need for LAW .. BUT just like every other guideline or law there are always some that feel the law Personnaly acts against them.. In this case Smokers

    The Guideline for smokers is that:- they should not smoke within "7 paces of a door way or entrance . Quite clearly many smokers do not adhere to such simple guidelines .. In which case there is a need for Law to be passed to cover that particular guideline...

    The Question is here whether in considering pollution are smokers the worse polluters
    Consider a smoker standing outside a bar having a ciggy .. and then car or taxi drives up , parks with the engine run while await some to come out of the bar.
    Who is the bigger polluter? Both are potential killers
    Are you going the past a law for one and not for the other?(or wait for he electric car then past law for both )

    The above not withstanding yes laws should be past to stop people smoking outside entrances

  • Comment number 27.

    Do people that smoke realise how much they stink and make their surroundings stink.I am glad there is a ban.Pubs and resturants are a much better place to go now the smokers are all outside.I can't wait till smoking is banned right outside doorways.


  • Comment number 28.

    More laws, more control. Tories the same as Labour, expand state intrusion.
    I cannot stand the smell of ciggarette smoke anywhere. It makes me feel ill. But I cannot stand any more state interference.

  • Comment number 29.

    4. At 11:22am on 02 Jan 2011, Ron C wrote:
    As a non-smoker, i`m fed up with the arrogance of smokers having taken over doorway entrances ouside pubs, cafes, especially hospitals, banks just about anywhere. There they are huddled together like penguins, dragging away surrounded in smoke as though the last fag was going out of production, as for trying to get past them, virtually no chance-even if you excuse yourself without getting the gas, cough or some remark that indicates they have this patch and you are a nuisance. Tighten up the laws make them smoke away from doorways and entrances, second lung smoke ugh, give me a bucket.
    -------------------------------------------
    If the sanctimonious toadies hadn't driven us out from pubs and bars we wouldn't be on the street would we?

    Wonder if this narrow minded poster drives? I don't - so it's worth remembering that car pollution is far more damaging to the general population than smoking ever will be...

    ...nothing worse than a tutting non (or ex) smoker with their holier than thou claptrap

    Smoking is a legal activity whether he/she approves or not..so get a life of your own rather than tutting at other people, sanctimony is a more disgusting thing to witness than any number of people smoking in doorways.

  • Comment number 30.

    Steve at #16... Indeed the W.H.O. have claimed that - unfortunately it's not true. there's been no noticeable change in admissions for heart disease since the inception of assorted smoking bans. The WHO, like ASH, are notorious for being economical with the truth
    ------------
    Provide any legitimate evidence to support this (not FORREST PROPGANDA) . There is significant documented, independent, reputable medical evidence to prove that smoking bans do precisely what they intend to do,improve the environment and improve public health. Comparisons between those areas which have effective bans and neighbouring areas which don't reinforce the fact that this is as a result of the bans not extraneous factors.

    I can provide at least 50 links to reputable research to support this can you provide 1 that proves it isn't true?

    Of course not.

  • Comment number 31.

    15. At 12:01pm on 02 Jan 2011, steve wrote:


    A smoking ban in a pub is possibly the stupidest thing ever, it's not like bars are health spas. People drinking toxic alcohol, eat fried, fatty foods and have drunken, casual sex. And you're worried about the smoke??

    ----------------------------------

    Wow Steve, where is this place I can visit which offers casual drunken sex along with all the other good things you mentioned? My local pub is positively tame by comparision

  • Comment number 32.

    If you say anti-smoking laws necessary then the same laws should apply to alchol and gambling.

  • Comment number 33.

    Isn't this much the same as we have in the UK?

    I'm not too bothered about seedy addicts smoking themselves to death, as long as they're well away from me and denied free treatment by the NHS when they're diagnosed with lung cancer. I'm more bothered about the fag-ends littering the streets, especially in pub doorways, and the dreadful stink of stale tobacco.

  • Comment number 34.

    It's the indignant rectitude of the health fascists that offends me. Some people always need an excuse to feel "superior" to others.

  • Comment number 35.

    The ban - one of the strictest in Europe - outlaws smoking in all bars and restaurants. Smokers will also be prohibited on television broadcasts, near hospitals or in school playgrounds
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    No more cigar chomping dectectives like Columbo on spanish tv then?

  • Comment number 36.

    People should make up their minds!
    Either they want a "Nanny State" or they don't.

  • Comment number 37.

    Can we have a debate on the Spanish health service of their transport policies instead?

  • Comment number 38.

    Dear deanarabin,

    Had you included in your question the right (or freedom) of drivers and passengers to pollute the public air, or sports fans to converge on locations close to residential areas and regularly disturb the peace of the public sound waves, or those who "party" in public houses to drink alcohol and fuel their inclination to disturb the peace and spill out (literally) all over public streets, then you might have a point.

    Without simply banning every freedom we have (freedom being a highly subjective concept at the best of times), there will never be fairness and equality. Smokers are a very easy target for all those who need to be seen to be 'doing something'. Far more significant targets (drug users, drunks, drivers of fuelled vehicles) are politically unacceptable and thus left more or less unhindered to get on with disrupting the public air and surroundings - and cost society far more than smokers.

    It's this hypocrisy which gets up the noses of smokers and anyone else who tries to maintain a fair balance of views.

  • Comment number 39.

    "Some 160 Spaniards a day die from smoking-related illnesses, four of them from passive smoking"

    id like to see the proof for this claim on passive smoking... even the WHO couldnt prove it after a 12 year study!

    Amazing how governments fight to stop smoking to show they are standing up for good health, at the same time as allowing HVOs (hydrogenated vegetable oils) to be used in the food chain, which thickens arteries with fat and is proven to cause diabetes, heart disease, liver disorders and even has links to alzheimers!
    The reasons given are down to money and costs

    You can damage your own body exactly how you want, as long as it doesnt make those in power look bad!

  • Comment number 40.

    Well, I think that all smokers should only be allowed to smoke in the middle of a hermetically sealed aircraft hangar. The airlock door to the hangar should be labelled “abandon hope all ye who enter here”. Whist walking to the designated smoking room, all smokers would have to wear bright green fluorescent leotards with tall pointed hats and suffer the jeers of all the smug non-smokers who will line up to humiliate them.

    Be warned however that drinkers of alcohol should be treated similarly as they cause no-end of social problems, probably more than smokers. Oh, and people who drive their noisy, smelly dangerous cars – they’re on the list. And don’t get me started on dog owners.

    Or why don’t we just make the entire practice of smoking illegal?

    Or maybe... give smokers a room in which to smoke. One that you don't have to go into. Simples.

    This by the way from a non-smoker.

  • Comment number 41.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 42.

    Seems that governments are quite happy to let smoking to remain a legal activity as long as the tax keeps rolling in (c. £11-12 billion annully in the UK alone), but simultaniously bang on about it being dangerous to eveyone's health

    If they don't want people to smoke, then ban it outright and put the taxes on something else - perhaps fatty foods, or suchlike. But please stop PREACHING on the one hand while EXTORTING your taxes on the other

  • Comment number 43.

    For God's sake - please just leave us alone. I'm sick and tired of people sticking their noses into others lives. Mind your own business. How I choose to live my life has nothing whatsoever to do with anyone else. If you want to live a 'healthy' life and finish up spending the last 10 years sitting in you're own filth in front of day time TV while losing your marbles, please do. I don't.

  • Comment number 44.

    I personally hope the non smoking laws here are repealed or at least landlords of pubs should be given a choice. As a musician I am dismayed at the number of venues which have closed since this one sided legislation became law. It's probably too late now though and I suppose I should just stay at home, watch the X Factor and eat what I am fed. I agree with many of the posters on here that car pollution was and is, a much, much greater problem than cigarette smoking will ever be. Of course I don't expect this kind of politically motivated legislation to actually be about anything other than cosmetic. You do need to be careful though or tobacco smokers will eventually stop propping the NHS up with their taxes.

  • Comment number 45.

    i am a non smoker and if people want to smoke then let them in certain places. Nobody has ever forced anyone to sit in a smokey bar; resturants I can agree with not having smoking because of food but I rather have smokers inside a pub than littering the doorsteps outside giving the passing public who don't even want to go in the pub premises a blast of it's customers smoke who are innocently walking past.
    This war against smokers is an infringement of democratic rights. If you really care about your health then why would you want to be stuck in a bar all night and yet complain about smokers.
    Since this smoking ban in England came into force I have been more exposed to second hand smoke than any other time because people are outside in my face with it - and it is not the smokers fault it is these anti-smoke nazis who think they are doing good when they are not.

  • Comment number 46.

    People will stop smoking if they want to. Try to force smokers to stop, the harder it will be to get them to stop. I smoked because it was (is) legal. I packed up because I wanted to. When someone told me that I shouldn't, I ignored them and lit up. Other smokers I know don't like being told.

  • Comment number 47.

    Travellers abroad are only too willing to take medical advice and have all the right jabs and tablets before they go.

    Why then can they not take medical advice re smoking? How I wish my father had been privvy to such encouragement. We lost him to cancer and smoking undoubtedly played its part.

    Our experience with him has led to the next two generations of his family refusing to 'light up'. Let us hope that Spain are successful and that we follow their example.

    Smokers often quote their rights - what nonsense. It is their right to kill themselves but not to kill others. Sir Walter Raleigh has a lot to answer for!!!

  • Comment number 48.

    "28. At 12:14pm on 02 Jan 2011, Dr Llareggub wrote:
    More laws, more control. Tories the same as Labour, expand state intrusion."

    Clearly you got too wound up in your anti-Government rant to notice that this is in Spain, not the UK.

  • Comment number 49.

    28. At 12:14pm on 02 Jan 2011, Dr Llareggub wrote:

    More laws, more control. Tories the same as Labour, expand state intrusion.
    I cannot stand the smell of ciggarette smoke anywhere. It makes me feel ill. But I cannot stand any more state interference.


    How exactly are the Tories responsible for the introduction of anti-smoking laws in Spain?

  • Comment number 50.

    "21. At 12:07pm on 02 Jan 2011, pogo50 wrote:
    Steve at #16... Indeed the W.H.O. have claimed that - unfortunately it's not true. there's been no noticeable change in admissions for heart disease since the inception of assorted smoking bans. The WHO, like ASH, are notorious for being economical with the truth."

    Heart disease is a progressive condition that develops over decades of ill-health, smoking being one of the larger contributory factors.

    You really believe that we'll see a noticable difference in a few years?

    I suspect that it's more you that is being economical with the truth.

  • Comment number 51.

    I am a lifetime non smoker. I do not support the nanny state so I believe in the right of the individual to destroy their own health if they wish but I do not want to breath other peoples tobacco smoke any more than I want to breath asbestos dust. Smoking isn't a crime, poisoning non smokers air supply should be.



  • Comment number 52.

    Being that we all live on the same planet with one atmosphere everything we do is passive so unless you don't do any of the following:
    Driving.
    Use public transport.
    Use electricity.
    Use gas.
    Drink water.
    Break wind.
    Breath.
    You are contributing to my death and have no righteous posistion to preace at me from.
    So unless you want to reasonably accommodate me with a my basic wellfare facilities i would be given in any working environment you are discriminating against me.
    I'm all for protecting people from passive smoking providing the same rules apply to protect the smoker and public smoking rooms are re-introduced.

  • Comment number 53.

    1. At 11:08am on 02 Jan 2011, Megan wrote:
    Either an activity is 'legal' or it is not.......

    It is time the arrogant busybodies made up their minds.As a lifelong non-smoker I am fed up with the arrogance of those who think they have the right to decide what I ought to do. They can choose for themselves, and I shall choose for myself. Butt out!!!
    //////////////////////////////////////////////
    With respect your reply shows the kind of arrogance you claim to dislike in others.

    The distinction in my view is that an individual should be free to decide for themselves what they do but this does not extend to imposing their anti-social behaviour on others. Freedom is not absolute, we all have to accept that some things are not acceptable to the majority and if necessary should be covered by law. For example some would defend their right to let their dog foul in public places but we are better off for suppressing such arrogance by legal measures.

    The idea that people should be subject to smoke in an establishment that serves food is generally unacceptable. Most smokers realise this and before legislation was introduced most smokers behaved responsibly but some arrogantly said its not illegal so I can do as I please. Even now smokers flout the law. For example yesterday I was standing in the street outside a pub reading a menu and smoke was drifting into my face from a man stood in the entrance of the pub breaking the current law. So I would defend a smokers right to smoke but not in places where it is imposed on others. Personally I would ban it in queues as well.

    I can also see a case for banning smoking in places where children are present including playgrounds and places they reside. Not only because it sets a bad example but because it is unhealthy and unpleasant. Having grown up in a home where family members smoked I can see no justification for inflicting this on children.

  • Comment number 54.

    "19. At 12:03pm on 02 Jan 2011, steve wrote:
    The anti smoking rules are made out of hatred of smokers, when they could make exceptions that don't put any non smokers in the line of fire. Separately ventilated areas where only smokers would enter. But that's not good enough, the banners just don't like smoking, and want to punish smokers."

    --------

    I've not been to many pubs that already have a separate room already available that could be used to turn into a "smoking room", therefore I doubt that many landlords will be chuffed at spending tens of thousands on building a new room with no hope of getting your investment back, and that's not even mentioning the listed pubs where they are not legally allowed to start knocking walls through or building random extentions, so you'd have to go out anyway.

    -------

    "Imagine if rules like this were made for other groups, especially homosexuals, where the rule was made simply out of hatred for the group?"

    ---------

    If you can show that exposure to homosexuals is carcinogenic, then we'll see. However until then, your example is really only a strawman.

    ---------

    "you cannot prove ONE SINGLE person has ever died from passive smoking."

    ---------

    I've seen literally dozens of death certificates that list either smoking or passive smoking as the secondary cause. It's not the primary cause, as it'll be the cancer or the heart attack that gets that slot, same as a car crash will list the personal injury (for example, massive head injuries) however this does not mean that car crashes haven't killed anyone.

    I'm afraid it is simply a myth that death certificates don't list smoking as a cause of death.

  • Comment number 55.

    25. At 12:12pm on 02 Jan 2011, Semisatanic wrote:
    People do not walk in front of moving cars because they take responsibility of their own health and know it can kill them.
    Pretty much the same way as a non-smoker wouldn't walk into a smoking room.
    Why do non-smokers appear to be more stupid and need protecting more than your basic pedestrian?
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    Do you think it might have something to do with the fact that by and large pedestrians don't usually encounter motor vehicles on the pavement?
    Motorists are pretty good at keeping to the road, which is their area, and they recognise that the pavements are for the pedestrians. There are of course laws that forbid them from doing so.

    So to apply your most helpful analogy, isn't there a good case for the non-smoking majority to have free passage from smoking activity wherever they go, and for the smoking minority to be expected to carry on those activities in private?
    Personally as I said in my No. 11 above, I'd not go as far as legislation, but it depends whether the smoking minority are democratic enough in this instance to respect the view of the majority.

  • Comment number 56.

    This is not a subject for a nanny government

  • Comment number 57.

    28. At 12:14pm on 02 Jan 2011, Dr Llareggub wrote:
    More laws, more control. Tories the same as Labour, expand state intrusion.
    I cannot stand the smell of ciggarette smoke anywhere. It makes me feel ill. But I cannot stand any more state interference.

    ----------------------------------------------------

    Of course, this is in Spain not the UK. Also note that the party in government in Spain is the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party - doesn't sound too Tory to me.

    Anyway, we are all going to end up "dying from ..." (insert favourite word(s) to complete that sentence). According to the CIA World Factbook approx 8.37 per 1000 humans die each year - that's about 57 million. So what are the other 53m dying of and are WHO stepping in to stop that?

  • Comment number 58.

    Honestly, the hypocritical Health Nazis are at it again.

    Before you make a judgement on my lifestyle look at yourself and the effect that your lifestyle has on the economy, ecology, society and health of other peoples lives.

    How many people have been socially, physically or economically oppressed around the world so that you can live your comfy, self satisfied, middle England, Daily Mail Life? The hypocrisy makes me puke.

  • Comment number 59.

    I'd wager most of these legislations are conjured up during or after a booze-fuelled luncheon, which explains why so little attention is paid to the catastrophic harm to self and others that alcohol abuse causes, whilst we continually lambast smokers because that's the American way.

  • Comment number 60.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 61.

    As an expat living and working in Cyprus the Ban on Smoking in certain places has ben adopted here.
    This would be fine and good if the rules were implimented.
    We have here in Cyprus the attitude that laws created to protect people are not enforced and people carry on regardless.
    The root of the problem as i see it is that untill you are prepared to back up laws with the correct infastruture and police using the powers given to them nothing will change.
    I visited many bars restaraunts and taverns over the Holiday period and not one was implementing the Ban on Smoking.
    Spain might have a problem but come to Islands of Greece and the mainland and see for yourself, they want to part of of Europe and all the benifits, but just ignore the laws!.

  • Comment number 62.

    From my own observations only.... There appears to be a much higher percentage of smokers among those who are regular pub goers than in society at large...
    I have seen pubs with 5 customers inside them and 20 stood outside! It has not lead to a rush of non smokers suddenly starting to patronise their local pub at all. Merely helped the demise of the great British institution which is the local pub!

  • Comment number 63.

    When I was growing up (admittedly a while ago, I'm 51) I was taught that if someone else was doing something I didn't wish to share in, I ought to move away from them. They had as much right, after all, to do whatever it was as I had to not participate.

    Why is it that those who do not wish to breathe someone else's smoke seem incapable of the simple act of taking themselves somewhere else?

  • Comment number 64.

    I am Spanish and I had to put up with the smoke from others all my life. I will go out anywhere and I will come home stinking of smoke, it will be so disgusting that I will have to put all my clothes in the washing machine and have a shower to get rid of it. When we had the first smoke ban it was just a joke, no public place will respect it unless it was a hospital, school or the like ... This ban is what we needed 4 years ago and it can only be good. :)

  • Comment number 65.

    IN 1998 I went to a bar that had loud music. I sat as far away as possible from the music as I could. The next day, my ear started ringing and to this day, it hasn't stopped. Should loud music be banned because it can and does cause damage to hearing? Or should people be treated like adults and be expected to avoid things like loud music and smoke, or do you like a child, need a nanny to make the decision for you?

  • Comment number 66.

    Democracy or not ? I think its time to decide how much intusion we want from government in our lives. I speak as a none smoker. The people who have bought cigarettes have paid for their health care handsomely. What hypocrites politicians are. Get you nose out of our lives.

  • Comment number 67.

    Spain may think that these new provisions are tough, but we have had similar bans in Canada for years.
    In other words, people resident in Canada cannot
    - smoke in any bar or restaurant
    - smokers are prohibited on television broadcasts, near hospitals or near school playgrounds.
    Results: bans on smoking in public places have lead to better health among the general population as exposure to second-hand smoke decreased.
    Melodie Tilson, Director of Policy at the Non-Smokers' Rights Association: "It doesn't come as a surprise to us but we're pleased that we have additional solid evidence."
    In addition to smoking bans in public places, such as restaurants, the group urges landlords and others to consider smoke-free apartment buildings, and supports municipalities establishing smoke-free social housing.
    In the hospital study, three researchers with the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Studies examined admission rates during a ban on smoking in public places that Toronto brought in between 1999 and 2006. They compared the rates to cities that had no such ban.
    In Toronto, they discovered a 17% decrease in admissions for heart attack, a 39% decrease in admissions for other cardiovascular conditions such as angina and a 33% decrease in hospital admissions for three respiratory conditions. (The pattern did not occur in the cities without a smoking ban.) Toronto's decreases were particularly noticeable after the city banned smoking in restaurants.
    The findings give evidence that exposure to second-hand smoke is detrimental to health.
    Non-smokers have the right to a healthy environment.
    (I am a smoker.)

  • Comment number 68.

    I live in Ontario and still smoke. Both Ontario and Quebec have had similar laws in effect for a few years now and I, for one, do not mind at all. In fact, I like the new smoke-free atmosphere in bars&restaurants. It's easy enough to step outside for a few minutes to sate the urge for a cigarette or whatever else.

  • Comment number 69.

    62. At 1:24pm on 02 Jan 2011, aphoristic wrote:

    From my own observations only.... There appears to be a much higher percentage of smokers among those who are regular pub goers than in society at large...
    I have seen pubs with 5 customers inside them and 20 stood outside! It has not lead to a rush of non smokers suddenly starting to patronise their local pub at all. Merely helped the demise of the great British institution which is the local pub!


    Smokers and non-smokers stopped going to pubs because of cheap supermarket alcohol. If the breweries cut their prices then more people would frequent them.

  • Comment number 70.

    63. At 1:24pm on 02 Jan 2011, Megan wrote:

    When I was growing up (admittedly a while ago, I'm 51) I was taught that if someone else was doing something I didn't wish to share in, I ought to move away from them. They had as much right, after all, to do whatever it was as I had to not participate.

    Why is it that those who do not wish to breathe someone else's smoke seem incapable of the simple act of taking themselves somewhere else?


    Why is it that those who wish to smoke seem incapable of the simple act of taking themselves somewhere else?

  • Comment number 71.

    Another story on the smoking ban ,why not ban smoking and drinking so we can all live sterile lives,my quess is that they will be praying for smokers when everyone is living to a hundred and world population hits ten billion,be careful what you wish for.

  • Comment number 72.

    66. At 1:26pm on 02 Jan 2011, Tony wrote:

    Democracy or not ? I think its time to decide how much intusion we want from government in our lives. I speak as a none smoker. The people who have bought cigarettes have paid for their health care handsomely. What hypocrites politicians are. Get you nose out of our lives.


    No one is saying that you can't smoke just that you mustn't do it around people who don't. I don't see any hypocrisy in that at all.

  • Comment number 73.

    There should be more smoking clubs and bars, smoking shelters should be less airy so as not to waste the smoke.

    Prices should be lowered so that smokers can enjoy more cigarettes per day, and the government still get their share of the tax.

    There should be hospital wards just for smokers where they can drop in to recuperate from any ailments they may have from time to time, bypassing the usual admission procedures.

    Smoking breaks should be 15 mins per hour in the work place.

    Cars should have smoke recycling vents especially for rear seat occupants.

    Face masks could be developed to be worn at night with a pipe linked to a slow tobacco burner so that they can smoke 24/7

    Im sort of enjoying siding with the smokers :)

  • Comment number 74.

    In this country it is very dificult to understand the motives, as if smoking is really that bad why not ban tobacco sales altogether, but conversely how will the government be able to afford the NHS, as it's revenues from Tobacco covered the cost of the NHS many years ago, before they started winding up the duty on it. I am not sure of the data currently, but I am certain that they still go a long way to cover the cost of the NHS. So with all the cut backs how would they cope with the reduced income from it. Also, it is now rather disgusting to see smokers, of which I was one until a few years ago, when I could no longer tolerate Gordon Brown's wasting of revenue, loitering futively in doorways. The anti-smoking laws have created a two tier society, them and us.

  • Comment number 75.

    hang on, doesnt the EU set the rules for all of us in europe? why is spain a special case all of a sudden? does this mean that we in the uk dont really have to do what the people in brussels say? one rule for all surely?

  • Comment number 76.

    Smokers die earlier so they are less of a burden on pensions so that's a good thing for the future. However, smokers should be forced to take out health insurance policies to pay for the consequences of their addiction. The NHS should not fund the stupidity of smokers (and the same goes for fatties, alcoholics and drug addicts).

  • Comment number 77.

    As a non-smoking Canadian living in Spain for seven years, I'm very happy about the new smoking rules although my smoking Spanish girlfriend is not very pleased. She acknowledges that she will smoke less when we go out but doesn't think she will enjoy herself as much. I've spoken to many Spaniards here in Valencia about the new rules, both smokers and non-smokers, and the vast majority are in favour of the ban (though not my girlfriend). Most people mention the stinky clothes and hair, sore throat and red eyes that are the inevitable result of a night out in Spain, rather than the long-term health risks. Many cafés, restaurants and bars in Spain are quite small with low ceilings and can become suffocating when many people light up at once. While I'm sure that some businesses will suffer as a result of the ban, it may be the case that the long-suffering non-smokers in Spain (the majority of the population) find themselves going out more than before. I personally intend to help out the Spanish hospitality industry by spending a little more of my monthly disposable income on going out with my friends and enjoying the strangely clean air.

  • Comment number 78.

    51. At 12:59pm on 02 Jan 2011, Karen wrote:
    I am a lifetime non smoker. I do not support the nanny state so I believe in the right of the individual to destroy their own health if they wish but I do not want to breath other peoples tobacco smoke any more than I want to breath asbestos dust. Smoking isn't a crime, poisoning non smokers air supply should be.
    ---------------------------------------
    This goes for cars too?

  • Comment number 79.

    two questions to all those defending their right to smoke.

    would you actively discourage your children from smoking?

    Do you smoke with your children in the car?

  • Comment number 80.

    The pub and bar trade will suffer just like the U.K.? how many pubs and clubs have closed they doors and how many joined the dole Q ?here because of the smoking ban? and the stupid very High prices' of all drinks!!! 24 hours drinking was a damp squib !! and all the prices' are due to go up again in a few days' time? V,A.T. with this bring a massive loss of tax to the government.Will it save some lives in Spain'Maybe a few ? But how many businness will go to the wall ????

  • Comment number 81.

    No one is saying that you can't smoke just that you mustn't do it around people who don't. I don't see any hypocrisy in that at all.

    --

    So are you a child, you couldn't avoid bars? YOu needed nanny state to come in and parent for you?

  • Comment number 82.

    if the govt are ok about taxing tobacco as they do then people should have the right to medical care for smoking related diseases

  • Comment number 83.

    38. At 12:29pm on 02 Jan 2011, 2101bob wrote:
    Dear deanarabin,
    Had you included in your question the right (or freedom) of drivers and passengers to pollute the public air, or sports fans to converge on locations close to residential areas and regularly disturb the peace of the public sound waves, or those who "party" in public houses to drink alcohol and fuel their inclination to disturb the peace and spill out (literally) all over public streets, then you might have a point.

    Without simply banning every freedom we have (freedom being a highly subjective concept at the best of times), there will never be fairness and equality. Smokers are a very easy target for all those who need to be seen to be 'doing something'. Far more significant targets (drug users, drunks, drivers of fuelled vehicles) are politically unacceptable and thus left more or less unhindered to get on with disrupting the public air and surroundings - and cost society far more than smokers.

    It's this hypocrisy which gets up the noses of smokers and anyone else who tries to maintain a fair balance of views.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dear 2101Bob,
    I agree wholeheartedly with your point that there are plenty of other socially-based aggravations in life besides smoking, and with all of the examples you mention,(though I do think you're mistaken to imply that nothing much is being done about them for political reasons)
    But I can't accept that to focus on smoking in this way is hypocritical: this debate is after all supposed to be limited to smoking alone.
    Surely you're not suggesting that it's hypocritical to make a start on one issue and that we should wait until we're ready to tackle all of them together? If we did accept this all-or-nothing view my guess is that we'd never get anywhere.
    I'm not sure either that, in the terms of my proposal, smoking is a soft target. I'm not seeking to prohibit, but I accept that what I propose would drastically reduce consumption, and so the wrath of the tobacco companies would be as immense as their pockets are deep. They are a force to be reckoned with.
    I'm not usually in favour of referenda, but the addition of public places to the list of existing banned locations might just be a suitable referendum subject.

  • Comment number 84.

    I live in Ontario and still smoke. Both Ontario and Quebec have had similar laws in effect for a few years now and I, for one, do not mind at all. In fact, I like the new smoke-free atmosphere in bars&restaurants. It's easy enough to step outside for a few minutes to sate the urge for a cigarette or whatever else.
    ----

    So why didn't you go to non smoking places from the beginning? Did you need government to make your mind up for you? And that subfreezing temperatures in Quebec and Ontario in winter, such nice place to be for a smoke outside. Or in the snow, or in the rain.

    If you don't like the smell of smoke, you could have easily avoiding places where people smoked.

    Now how about if pe ople like me start forcing business to ban things I don't like? I'ave always hated tomatoes and loud music. I think I should get them banned even though I could easiliy avoid both of them, I will impose my views on everyone! you'll be better off without loud music either. I know what's best for you!

  • Comment number 85.

    Why don't they just make it illegal and be done with it....after all, we don't have any illegal drug users in UK, do we?

  • Comment number 86.

    75. At 1:46pm on 02 Jan 2011, dwangeddy wrote:
    hang on, doesnt the EU set the rules for all of us in europe? why is spain a special case all of a sudden? does this mean that we in the uk dont really have to do what the people in brussels say? one rule for all surely?

    =======================
    Do you smoke something else, because your observation skills are a bit lax. There is NO mention of the EU, because this is a SPANISH law/regulation, which is hinted at via the inclusion of the word SPAIN.

    Does this mean that Spain will take the same action against people who eat too much and contribute more than average emissions/pollution for transport of food, which UK government/health stats show kill 5000 people in UK a year, don't know what stats are in Spain.

    In UK we also pay the EU £300 MILLION in fines for the privilage of POISONING ourselves via polution because many of our UK citys do not meet EU polution regulations, which doesnt help babys/children whos numbers of Astma & other respiratory illnesses have HUGELY increased over a number of years and are STILL getting worse.

    Bash smokers, BUT we ALL contibute to KILLING OTHERS via our lifestyles and polution, hence WHY just pick on one group when basically society and the way it functions is factually responsible for so many UNNECESSARY DEATHS.

  • Comment number 87.

    56. At 1:15pm on 02 Jan 2011, HonestMP wrote:
    This is not a subject for a nanny government
    -------------------------------------
    Then what sort of Government do you think it may be for?

  • Comment number 88.

    69. At 1:30pm on 02 Jan 2011, Magi Tatcher wrote:

    62. At 1:24pm on 02 Jan 2011, aphoristic wrote:

    From my own observations only.... There appears to be a much higher percentage of smokers among those who are regular pub goers than in society at large...
    I have seen pubs with 5 customers inside them and 20 stood outside! It has not lead to a rush of non smokers suddenly starting to patronise their local pub at all. Merely helped the demise of the great British institution which is the local pub!

    Smokers and non-smokers stopped going to pubs because of cheap supermarket alcohol. If the breweries cut their prices then more people would frequent them.

    You are probably right about that but the smoking ban has contributed to it without doubt. The pub-co's are the biggest destroyers of pubs... along with the government for over taxing alcohol. Landlords can't make a living and the rest of us can't afford their wares!

  • Comment number 89.

    It is absolutely a waste of time bringing any more legislation when the current laws are not adhered to. Look outside any hospital. Yes there are signs everywhere informing patients/visitors of the No Smoking policy, and that there is no smoking either within the hospital nor within the grounds, but I have yet to see anyone being asked to refrain from smoking. Staff are just as likely to be seen aswell.

  • Comment number 90.

    Pubs should also ban red meat, and fried foods, since nanny states obviously think they are health spas.

    Mmm, and that automobile exhaust, making the outdoor air far filthier than a smoky bar ever could dream of being, that's perfectly fine! Plus all the drunk drivers leaving bars, that's fine! So long as we get rid of smoking becuse I don't approve of it and need to impose my views on everyone even though I could easily avoid being around smoke if I wanted to!

    Now how about a ban that would be useful, a screaming brat ban?

  • Comment number 91.

    More legislation from a European nation which does nothing to support the need for effective, meaningful and necessary regulation. It is ironic it comes from a country that was a guilty as anyone for bringing tobacco out of the Americas.

    I agree with #1. You should not limit actions in this way. Either it is legal or it is not. Pathetic.

  • Comment number 92.

    Regardless of all this chat on HYS the Spaniards will do as they always do when it comes to rules they don't like:- ignore them!

  • Comment number 93.

    Nothing funnier than liberal nanny staters who happen to be obese, like Rob Reiner, trying to get smoking banned everywhere.

  • Comment number 94.

    As an ex smoker, and witnessing many people suffering with enduring lung disease due to smoking, then about time, unfortunatly our society is very dependant upon the money the smokers contribute. As I have said before, we need the politician to come clean. In the 1980's the then conservative government financed a very large piece of legislation via a certain tobacco company, only to have a lecture tour of the world financed worth 6 zero on her retirement.

    We also witnessed similar issues with Blair and advertising, hence all politicians need to come clean.

  • Comment number 95.

    They should be relaxing the laws not making them tougher. Spain has a brilliant cafe culture, this law will make it turn into boring UK.

  • Comment number 96.

    I challenge anyone here to PROVE that passive smoking has ever caused a fatality. The worst it has ever done is make your clothing smell bad. If that's the standard, then we'd have to ban most ethnic foods.

  • Comment number 97.

    Great!! We frequently used an internet cafe in Garrucha, Almeria this summer. Lovely food, lovely company, pity about the smoke. Next time we can use the cafe without committing suicide.

  • Comment number 98.

    So if the lefties got their wish, and everyone quit smoking, what will be taxed next to make up for the lost revenues? Hopefully something that the self righteous anti smokers use. That would be funny. I hope you enjoy the smell of smoke free bars, which once the smoke is gone, you realize smells like a lavatory.. Enjoy your bar/health spa! Maybe we can have some laws passed about the maximum you can drink, you can be bar coded, and the central system will keep track of how much you've had in a day, because drinking more than a few is bad for you! I know what's best for you!

  • Comment number 99.

    How much do the anti smokers really care about pollution?

    Before trying to hammer smokers ask yourself...do you drive? Do you fly? Do you use a computer? (the computer industry is about to overtake the airline industry in terms of pollution, all that cooling energy required etc) and you must have used a computer to post here....grrr @ you polluters - so selfish, what about my health you are damaging with every keystroke? GET A LIFE of your own instead of trying to regulate everyone else's.

    As the worlds biggest polluters are China, India and the USA, should we be banning them too? Of course not..

    I suspect they are mostly motivated by having a section of the population they can look down on when they are sitting in their little grey rooms, drinking their cocoa and wishing women did as they were told again.

    Sad isn't it?

  • Comment number 100.

    Did we not have a similar HYS just before Christmas following the BBCs provocative publication of a propaganda piece from the anti-smoking industry? That particular piece of junk journalism claimed that 600,000 people a year are “killed” by passive smoking based on absolutely no evidence whatsoever. It was triggered by a theoretical exercise published in a medical journal.

    It seems that 2011 is bringing no improvement and that the BBC is determined to continue to act as a mouthpiece for anti-tobacco. Not only does the health team continue to display partiality and bias in favour of interventionist public health policies but it now actively supports them by making its own claims such as:

    “Some 160 Spaniards a day die from smoking-related illnesses, four of them from passive smoking.”

    Perhaps the BBC would be so kind as to tell us why it believes this statement to be accurate? It is not attributed to anyone in particular so I assume that the BBC believes it to be a fact and would like us to accept it as such.

    With respect to bias, perhaps we could also have some insight as to why the “success” of the smoking ban in Ireland has been completely ignored by the BBC? For anyone interested in truth and honest reporting, the incidence of smoking has increased in Ireland since the ban but why bother using facts to provide a balanced article when you can quote nameless doctors claiming that the ban “will help people give up”?

    As for smoking, in a fair and tolerant society it should be possible to make adequate provision for people to choose between smoking and non-smoking venues and to create smoking areas that counter the smoky doorway effect.

    As a non smoker I agree with the respondents who enjoy dining out without having to tolerate other peoples smoke but I note that around a quarter of adults across Europe are being “denormalised” and denied a social life by unnecessarily harsh laws. I also note that the only comments currently published under this particular news item are supportive of the ban. They appear to be unrepresentative of the HYS I am currently reading but I am no longer surprised.

 

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