Ministry says smoking ban applies to lobbies and stairways
Government planning a strict interpretation of new anti-tobacco law due to go into effect on January 2
The anti-smoking law due to go into effect on January 2 could include a ban on tobacco in hallways, staircases and lobbies of residential buildings. The law is a stricter version of the current ban that still permits smoking in many bars and restaurants depending on their size, and it specifies that besides these public areas, tobacco will not be allowed "in all other enclosed spaces of public or collective use."
An internal Health Ministry document specifies that this means common areas of buildings used for residential purposes. The ban would extend to any swimming pool, community center and play areas that are not open-air.
This document, to which EL PAÍS had access, also explains that "every smoking employee costs his/her company around 1,700 euros a year," says the report, citing a 2008 study.