Spain enacts tough anti-smoking law

Spain has introduced a tough anti-smoking law that prohibits lighting up in enclosed public places including bars, restaurants, discotheques, casinos, airports and even some outdoor spaces, in line with the European Union’s strictest anti-smoking legislation.

Open-air children’s playgrounds and access points to schools and hospitals are also smoke-free zones now, although hotels are allowed to reserve 30 percent of their rooms for smokers.

The law takes effect Sunday and is likely to turn Spain — the EU’s fourth largest tobacco producer — from a cigarette-friendly land abounding with smoky bars and restaurants, into one of Europe’s most stringently smokeless.

By 2012 all of the EU’s 27 member states should have banned smoking in enclosed zones.