The Portuguese government has published draft legislation aimed at restricting the sale of tobacco and banning smoking on covered terraces as well as in schools, hospitals and sports stadiums.
This comes amid efforts to achieve a smoke-free generation by 2040.
Health Minister Manuel Pizarro said the proposals were aimed at tackling tobacco use, not the consequences for smokers or business owners.
“This is a bill that takes firm steps to promote health and protect people from the effects of tobacco smoke.” “He said on Thursday.
If approved by parliament, the ban on smoking outside bars, restaurants and cafes, including next to public buildings such as hospitals, schools, universities and sports stadiums, will come into force on October 23.
“We recommend extending the ban on outdoor smoking within public access or group use areas – especially in Spaces where the most vulnerable people are.” Pizarro added.
The proposal also includes a ban on tobacco sales in bars, cafes, restaurants and petrol stations starting in 2025, and would only allow tobacco sales from licensed tobacco sellers, airport shops or vending machines 300 metres from schools and other educational facilities.
To limit young people’s access to tobacco and e-cigarettes, the sale of flavoured tobacco products will also be restricted, along with advertising, promotion and sponsorship to discourage experimentation, consumption and dependence.
The creation of new smoking areas will be banned from next year, but bars, clubs and restaurants already licensed can keep the Spaces until 2030.
The country’s Socialist government says it aims to save thousands of lives a year by reducing incentives for tobacco consumption.
Tobacco consumption accounts for two-thirds of smokers’ deaths, according to government figures, as 13,500 people died from the same cause in 2019 in Portugal, which has a population of just over 10.3 million.
The Provar Restaurant Association claimed it was seen as a blow to small businesses trying to secure a source of income, while the National Fuel Retailers Association, which runs petrol stations, called the move unfair.
France has also decided to join the initiative, with Health Minister Francois Braun announcing that the French government may ban the use of single-use e-cigarettes by the end of 2023.
“I am in favor of banning…… e-cigarettes are leading some of our young people to tobacco use.” Braun told broadcaster France Inter.
“Smoking is a scourge that kills 75,000 people in France every year.” “He added.
Even according to data released last month, smoking has never been more prevalent in the United States, as 1 in 9 American adults will report smoking by 2022, the lowest rate in U.S. history.