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Anti-smoking laws to be implemented

SMOKING IS to be banned in Portugal, but only in restaurants, bars, nightclubs and workplaces with a total area of less than 100 square metres.

The proposal has been approved and will now be discussed in the Assembleia da República as soon as possible, according to health minister, Correia da Campos.

The new law will come into force one year after its approval, despite previous proposals stipulating a four year adjustment period.

Campos says the law is designed to protect the 70 per cent of the population that don’t smoke.

The health minister did not give details about the punishment to offenders or how the areas in question will be inspected, but said: “There will be certain social sanctions.”

The law will also demand that buildings with an area over 100 square metres must have an extraction system in place and the smoking area cannot exceed 30 square metres. Any cost incurred will be at the expense of the owners.

The government is also expected to approve raising the legal smoking age to 18 in coming months, as well as implementing a blocking system to stop underage smokers using machines.

Currently, smoking restrictions are only applied on public transport, in health establishments and schools.

It will still be permitted to smoke in open air spaces and certain areas of shopping centres.

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