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Beach businesses call for clarification of tobacco law

Want to know whether to ban smoking over whole beach, or only in certain areas

The Portuguese Federation of Beach Concessionaires has said today that rules about where smoking will be prohibited on sea, river and lakeside beaches should be “well defined” by the competent authorities.

The new tobacco law, which has now entered parliament, states that management entities, among others, can ban smoking at sea, river and lakeside beaches.

Speaking to Lusa news agency, president of the Portuguese Federation of Beach Concessionaires, João Carreira, said the law would maintain, in essence, what is happening in restaurants and other hospitality businesses, “which already have areas for smokers and non-smokers”.

However, he warned that bans must “be well defined” and that it has to be decided whether the ban covers the whole beach or if it is only in the restaurant/outdoor terrace spaces.

According to the draft law, smoking will also be prohibited in public swimming pools and water parks. The government claims these are places of entertainment, “frequented by minors and their families”.

The intention behind this draft law is to eliminate “exceptions currently provided by law that prohibits smoking in enclosed places of collective use”.

As for access to tobacco, the prohibition on sale will be extended to sports venues, swimming pools and water parks, performance halls, amusement parks, bingo halls, casinos and gambling halls and “other types of venues for non-artistic performances and music festivals, as well as home delivery and itinerant sales”.

The sale of tobacco through vending machines in places less than 300 metres from establishments for minors under 18 years of age, educational establishments and training centres will also be prohibited, as will the sale of cigarettes and cigarillos by the unit after the opening of respective packets.

The law recalls that more than 100,000 deaths are attributable to tobacco in Portugal in the last decade, warning that all “forms of tobacco are harmful to health, as there is no safe level of exposure”.

Source: LUSA