Spain Further Restricts Smoking
Spain is to ban smoking on all domestic flights and intercity buses, as well as impose tighter restrictions on trains and ferries under a decree approved Friday by the government's cabinet.
Previously, smoking was allowed on domestic flights longer than 90 minutes, smoking sections were permitted on buses, and efforts were made to separate smokers from nonsmokers on ferries and trains.
The ban is due to come into effect upon publication of the decree in about three months.
Earlier this month the Spanish flagship carrier Iberia announced it would ban smoking on all its flights starting Sept. 1.
Recent research has indicated that tobacco contributes to a third of all deaths in the 50-65 age bracket in Spain, where smoking in offices, restaurants and other public places remains common.
The ban was described as "another aggression" by a group calling itself Smokers for Tolerance. The group's spokesman, Alvaro Garrido, said it violated the rights of Spain's 10 million smokers -- a quarter of the population -- and could discourage tourists seeking a relaxed atmosphere, the news agency Europa Press reported.