Spain to Toughen Tobacco Law

    Photo: javier alamo from Pixabay

    The Spanish government is drafting a new tobacco law to replace outdated legislation that has not been amended since 1998, reports EuroWeekly.
    Minister of Health Salvador Illa wants to increase taxation and bring taxes for different types of tobacco on an equal footing. For example, cigarettes are currently more heavily taxed than roll-your-own tobacco.
    To avoid hoarding, the price increases will be made without notice.
    The Health Department also intends to extend smoke-free areas, and smoking could be banned in private cars, especially if there are children onboard.
    Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance wants to tighten the regulatory framework to meet World Health Organization and EU standards—in particular, the regulations governing the import or sale of cigarettes and electronic devices.
    In addition, there are plans to increase sanctions on importers to reduce illegal trafficking of tobacco.
    The aim is to have a draft ready by September so that the changes can be presented to the Congress of Deputies before the end of the year.
    Smoking currently generates €9 billion ($10.09 billion) in tobacco taxes for the Spanish treasury each year.