Das Spanische Modell

Auf Anraten von Reinhard Waneck (FPÖ) schrieb Andrea Kdolsky (ÖVP) das Spanische Tabakgesetz von 2006 ab, das die Tabakindustrie zufrieden stellte, aber Angestellte in der Gastronomie, Gäste und Kinder ungeschützt ließ. Alois Stöger (SPÖ) war zu feig, dieses Gesetz zu ändern, obwohl alle damit unzufrieden waren: Die Wirte wegen der Schmutzkonkurrenz der Raucherlokale und die Gäste, weil ihnen Kontrolle und Meldung von Gesetzesverletzungen aufgebürdet wurde, um sie dann als Denunzianten anzuprangern und mit Behördenvorladungen und Beweisforderungen zu schikanieren.

2010 wurde das spanische Tabakgesetz geändert. Die Ärzteinitiative forderte vom Gesundheitsminister, dass er wieder dem "Spanischen Modell" folgt, um endlich westeuropäischen Standard zu erreichen:

Extracted from Tobacco Control. 2011; vol. 20, No. 1, p. 5-6.

Spain was one of the first European countries to implement a tobacco control law. However, the ban of smoking in enclosed workplaces had an important exception in the hospitality sector—bars, pubs, taverns, restaurant and hotels (Tob Control 2006;15:79–80). This type of partial legislation, known from that moment on as the ‘Spanish model' (Tob Control 2010;19:24–30), allowed smoking in hospitality venues of less than 100 square metres, subject to the decision of the owner. Not surprisingly, this model has been strongly supported by the tobacco industry when lobbying against smoke-free policies. The ‘Spanish model’ has been advocated, with slight variations, in other European and Latin American countries considering the implementation of smoke-free policies.

Totally smoke-free policies are urged by the WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The effectiveness of smoke-free policies and their lack of negative effects on hospitality businesses, have been confirmed by research, including a tobacco control report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Moreover, three years after the Spanish law entered into force, the evidence generated from its scientific evaluation clearly indicates that the exceptions in bars and restaurants have limited its effectiveness. Several studies have shown that exposure to secondhand smoke in workplaces has reduced (although not disappeared) whereas exposure during leisure—mainly due to exposure in hospitality venues—has not. Moreover, exposure of hospitality workers in venues where smoking continues to be allowed (80 per cent of all venues) has not decreased, but has even increased.

In the context of the accumulated evidence of the law's failure to protect hospitality workers, the Spanish parliament changed the partial ban to a total ban. From 2 January 2011, the ban on smoking in all enclosed workplaces now includes bars and restaurants, with no exceptions. Moreover, smoking is now banned on the campus of hospitals and in healthcare centres. Thus the ‘Spanish model’ will no longer be that of a partial and weak ban, but a total one, as recommended by the FCTC. 

What happened in Spain clearly illustrates how partial bans, voluntary policies or ‘courtesy of choice’ programmes, as promoted by the tobacco industry and parts of the hospitality sector, do not protect people against secondhand smoke. Spain has finally become an example of good practice for those countries aiming to go smoke-free.


ESTEVE FERNÁNDEZ, Institut Català d'Oncologia, Barcelona, Spain (efernandez@iconcologia.net)

MANEL NEBOT, Agència de Salut Pública de Barcelona, Spain