by Joan Collins
THE passing of the national “anti tobacco” law, once it starts to be applied from January 1 2006, will mean the abolition of the seven points in the Balearic Law of Drug Dependency and Addictions, which came into effect on July 10 this year, that refer to tobacco. The new national law is, in general terms, more restrictive than the Balearic one.
This was what the regional co-ordinator for Drug Dependency from the Balearic Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs, Doctor Bartomeu Jaume, said.
He also said that “to make a complete assessment of the new law first we have to study the final text because, from what we know of the new law, it is more restrictive than the Balearic law in many respects”. The regional co-ordinator for Drug Dependency was especially concerned about how the new law will be applied in bars and restaurants and in Balearic tourist hotels. “And it is not only we who are concerned, we have received many telephone calls about this question in the Drug Dependency and Addictions Immediate
Response Call Centre (CRIDA), which the Balearic Government started before the Balearic law took effect,” Jaume added.
On the other hand, the Balearic Government is concerned, according to Jaume, with the lack of information which the central government has given about the new rules. With respect to this the regional coordinator pointed out that, before the regional law had come into force, a campaign of information was embarked upon, and agreements were made with the business organisations CAEB and PIMEB. In addition, in the first days of the application of the new law 14'500 informative leaflets were given out in restaurants.
These were also given out in education and health centres and at informative talks.
As for the basic differences between the two laws, Jaume said that the national law is much more restrictive because it makes reference to the total prohibition of smoking in workplaces. “Workers will have to go outside into the street to smoke”, he said, adding that and in hotels and restaurants “it could create confusion about the situation of smoking and nonsmoking areas,” unless better explanations were given.

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