Spain Mulls Strengthening Anti-Smoking Laws with Tougher Measures

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Spain’s Ministry of Health is considering reintroducing strict anti-smoking measures, including banning smoking on terraces and beaches.

According to Spanish media outlet The Olive Press, Spain’s Ministry of Health’s “2021-2025 Tobacco Prevention and Control Comprehensive Plan” is likely to reintroduce strict smoking restrictions in the near future.

For years, there has been speculation about specific details, such as the ban on smoking on terraces and whether it will extend to private cars and beaches. Beaches across Spain are gradually being designated as “smoke-free beaches” through measures taken by local authorities.

According to reports, the department will “examine every possible solution” to expand smoke-free areas and ensure that tobacco is no longer a part of future generations’ daily lives.

Spain has one of the cheapest tobacco prices in Western Europe, so a higher pricing strategy may also be effective.

It is commonly believed that the Ministry of Health’s strategy will include regulations on smoking, which is particularly popular among young people.

The Ministry of Health has turned its attention to the situation in countries like France and the United Kingdom, where measures to restrict or even prohibit the use of e-cigarettes (especially disposable e-cigarettes) are being implemented. They are also considering raising the legal age for smoking initiation.

The government’s intention is to expand tobacco-related bans “as soon as possible”, but this could mean anything – especially with strong pro-tobacco lobbying groups likely exerting pressure to oppose any measures they perceive as severe.

In addition, there is a significant challenge of how to get legislation passed through the Congress, as the lawmakers supporting the Pedro Sánchez government are in the minority.

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