Portugal to ban all smoking in public places by 2020, plus cars with children

Thursday, May 31, 2012

From here in Portuguese:

The Portuguese government will put an end to smoking areas by 2020, according to a project by the Minister of Health that would prohibit the installation of these spaces in new establishments and provide a period of eight years to do away with existing ones.

The ministry is finalizing a set of proposals for "minor alterations" to the Tobacco act to guarantee a lower exposure of passive smoking, proposals that are to be presented "very soon".

"Our idea is to create a mechanism that prevents the installation of new places for smokers. Those that now have a place for smokers will have a moratorium to make it possible to amortize the investment, before applying the law barring smoking in all public places".

The prohibition on smoking in cars transporting children is another change desired by the Government: "It has been demonstrated that the concentration of smoke in the back of the vehicle is very large, and that plastics are embedded with carcinogenic material that is slowly released."

Eurobarometer data shows that 23% of Portuguese citizens are smokers. In the European Union this number is 28%. 70% of ex-smokers acquired the habit before turning 18.

The survey also concluded that the number of cigarettes smoked per days is 14.2, which represents a slight decrease from the 14.4 in the previous study in 2009. Half the population of the EU has never smoked and 61% of current smokers have tried to quit smoking before.

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