New anti-smoking law takes effect today

Today, Sunday January 2nd 2011, sees the introduction of the new anti-smoking laws, some of the toughest in Europe.

The new laws tighten anti-smoking restrictions introduced in 2006 and ban smoking in all enclosed public spaces, including bars and restaurants.

Smokers will also be prohibited on television broadcasts, near hospitals or in school playgrounds.

Previously, bars and restaurants could choose whether to be smoking or non-smoking, with only large restaurants having to provide a special smoke-free area.

There are many who believe that the stricter laws will have a serious effect on the trade in many cafes and bars in a country with a strong cafe culture. These same bars have already been badly hit by the ongoing financial crisis in Spain.

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