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    HomeWorldNew Smoking Ban and Tobacco Restrictions to be Implemented in Portugal

    New Smoking Ban and Tobacco Restrictions to be Implemented in Portugal

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    Portugal is working on a law to expand the ban on smoking to outdoor areas, such as covered terraces, and to restrict tobacco sales. The aim is to create a tobacco-free generation by 2040. Health Minister Manuel Pizarro said that the ban will protect the adults of tomorrow. If approved by parliament, smoking next to public buildings, such as schools, universities, hospitals, and sports venues, will be banned from October 23. Smoking outside restaurants, bars, and coffee shops will also be prohibited.

    Restaurants, bars, and nightclubs that have dedicated smoking areas with adequate isolation will be allowed to maintain those until 2030. From 2025, only licensed tobacconists and airport shops will be allowed to sell cigarettes and other tobacco products. Vending machines, bars, restaurants, and petrol stations will no longer be allowed to offer them. Under a European Union directive, Portugal is also changing the law to equate heated tobacco products to conventional tobacco. The sale of flavoured heated tobacco will be prohibited.

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    The measures have faced criticism from some business groups who say they are too harsh and discriminatory. The PRO.VAR restaurant association head Daniel Serra said the measures were taking away a source of revenue from often struggling small businesses. The national association of fuel retailers, which operate petrol stations, called the plan unfair and disproportionate.

    According to the government, about two-thirds of deaths among smokers are attributable to tobacco use, and smokers live 10 years less than a non-smoker on average. In 2019, it was estimated that about 13,500 deaths were due to tobacco in Portugal. A pack of cigarettes in Portugal costs around €5 ($5.50). Some argue the government should raise the tobacco tax, but Pizarro said that was not a priority as prices beyond a certain level would simply encourage smuggling.

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    The new law is expected to be approved by parliament, where the ruling Socialists have a majority.

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