No doubt many will cheer when they learn that people will no longer be able to smoke in bars, cafés and restaurants in Spain. The law, which was passed on Tuesday by Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and his governing Socialist Party, by 189 votes to 154 also rejected a Senate amendment to allow casinos to have smoking areas.
Starting on Jan 2, the interiors of all bars and restaurants will be transformed into no-smoking zones, bringing Spain in line with the European Union’s strictest antismoking nations and many U.S. states that ban smoking in enclosed public places.
The law will make Spain a tougher place to smoke than EU countries where bars and restaurants are still allowed to have smoking sections. It will also prohibit smoking in outdoor places such as playgrounds and the grounds of schools and hospitals.