Spain was one of the first European countries to implement a tobacco control law. In spite of this, the ban on smoking in enclosed workplaces allowed for an important exception in the hospitality sector including bars, pubs, taverns, restaurants and hotels. This type of partial legislation, which came to be known as the ‘Spanish model’, allowed smoking in hospitality venues of less than 100 m2, at the owners discretion. Not surprisingly, this model has received much support from the tobacco industry in their lobbying efforts against completely smoke-free policies in line with Article 8 guidelines of the World Health Organizations Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).
The WHO FCTC urges comprehensive smoke-free policies. Further, the effectiveness of smoke-free policies has been con firmed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which also found a lack of negative effects on the hospitali ty sector as a result of smoking bans. Notably, evidence from the scientific evaluation of the Spanish ban demonstrated that second-hand smoke exposure in bars and restaurants did not decrease under the initial legislation. As a result of advocacy and scientific study, changes were made to the smoking ban. From 2 January 2011, the smoking ban extended to all enclo sed workplaces, including bars and restaurants, without excep tion. The ‘Spanish model’ will no longer be associated with a partial and weak ban, but a total one, as recommended by the WHO FCTC.
What happened in Spain clearly illustrates how partial bans, as promoted by the tobacco industry and parts of the hospitality sector, do not protect people against second-hand smoke and can be undermined. The “new Spanish model” is an example of good practice for those countries aiming to go entirely smoke- free. The aim of this symposium is to analyze the Spanish experience, and that of other countries, to derive implications for global tobacco control.