THE new anti tobacco law which came into force in the Balearics on Sunday is still shrouded in confusion, with many bar and restaurant owners seemingly in the dark, claiming they have had no information and are not sure what they should do. Health minister Aina Castillo said that “a margin of confidence” of around one month will be given before fines are handed out to establishments which do not comply with the law, which bans smoking in restaurants and bars and cafeterias where food is served, among other places. Castillo insisted that the purpose of the law was “to improve health” not raise money through fines, adding that no complaints about breaking the law had been received so far. She said that there were no plans to close small premises which are having difficulties in providing smoke free zones, but it would be her department's inspectors who would decide if, for example, a screen was enough to separate the smoking from the no smoking areas. Commenting on small establishments, she said that the law would not force them to spend exhorbitant amounts on reforms, all that is asked is that a space be provided to respect the rights of non smokers. Maria Antonia Munar, president of the Council of Majorca, criticised the new bill, saying that she was not in favour of the ban, and not enough information had been provided. She said there was no point in the ban unless alternatives or solutions were provided.
The Balearic law is much tougher than the national law which will be introduced next year.

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