The Spanish Government’s recent plan to extend the smoking ban to bars and public spaces has been opposed by the Spanish catering industry because of the economic consequences it might have on the industry which is already suffering from financial turmoil.

President of the Federacion Espanola de Hosteleria (FEHR), Jose Maria Rubio, said that the ban will lead to closure of several businesses, job losses and economic losses. FEHR, taking the example of Ireland, where almost a quarter of bars were closed as a result of smoking ban between 2004 and 2008, proposed that about 70,000 of Spain’s 360,000 bars might have to close down as a result of this ban causing one-sixth or 200,000 people serving the catering industry to lose their job.

According to the government, about 8.3 percent of people die because of lung cancer making smoking the biggest killer in Spain and the new ban would bring Spain in line with other European countries like Ireland, Britain, France and Italy.