THE President of the National Committee for the Prevention of Addiction to Tobacco (CNPT), Rodrigo Cordoba, warned yesterday that the Balearic Antitobacco Law did not protect non-smokers in catering establishments because the proposed separation of smoking and non-smoking areas is functional but ineffective.

According to Doctor Cordoba, the Balearic Law should be adapted to the state law so that “they can go further in the prohibition, but cannot stop short of it, because that is going to create inequalities and noncompliance with the law”.

He also criticised the Balearic Government for asking for a postponement of 2 years so that bars and restaurants of more than 100 square metres will have more time to complete the works laid down by the law, although that amendment was rejected by Balearic Parliament. “If the national Parliament has decided 8 months”, he underlined, “what the law says must be accepted and not questioned”.

In the judgement of the President of the CNPT, the conflict has arisen because the Balearic Minister for Health and Consumer Affairs, Aina Castillo, forgot about public health and the majority of the citizens and positioned herself on the side of the owners of the catering establishments and the tobacco industry, “interested in creating confusion so that the law will not be applied”.

He described as an “irresponsibility” that there was a “rebellion” against a basic state law. “The argument that the Balearic law is more restrictive is not correct. It is an unacceptable rhetoric. It is also surprising that a Government supported by a party which argues for cohesion and territorial equilibrium, and which has always maintained that the basic laws should be the base of autonomic legislation, are now rebelling against the State”. Lastly, the CNPT called on the autonomous regions to put into action plans for inspection and control, so that all nonsmoking establishments would be adequately signed.

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