The European Commission has asked all its member states on Wednesday morning, to implement laws to protect its citizens from being exposed to tobacco by 2012. The new laws should prohibit smoking in all public places, all transport and work areas in order to “safeguard the health of non-smokers”.

The EC demands smoke-free Europe by 2012The EC also noted that Spain was in the group of countries where legislation currently least protects passive smokers.

Every year 79,000 european adults die from tobacco related illnesses. The figure includes 19,000 non-smokers which had been exposed to tobacco.

In Spain, the current anti-smoking laws prohibit smoking in the workplace, in public transport and in the majority of public places. In certain places, such as airports, the law permits smoking areas which need to be separated from the rest of the area as well as ventilated.

In bars, cafes and restaurants that are less than 100 squaremeters, as well as in pubs and betting houses the law permits the owner to choose to allow smoking or not. In case of premises bigger than 100 square meters, the maximum space allocatable for smokers is 30% of the total size.

Image by maguisso under Creative Commons.