The Spanish Government is toughening up tobacco regulations which will see more taxes, fines and restrictions.
THE Ministries of Finance and Health are working on two different tracks with the ultimate aim of reducing consumption in Spain.
According to La Información, the Executive plans to create a new Law for the Regulation of the Tobacco Market and Taxation Regulations to replace outdated legislation which has not been amended since 1998.
The Health Department wants to raise the tax in order to reduce consumption. 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.
The habit currently generates €9 billion in tobacco taxes each year, and the price increases will be made without notice, to avoid bulk-buying in advance.
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 WHO 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.