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Portugal to ban smoking near schools, hospitals

UK law debate smoking
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Portugal is planning measures to ban smoking near schools and hospitals as well as in covered outdoor seating areas, the country’s health minister said on Thursday.

The law, which will be discussed in Parliament at an unspecified date, would also forbid the practice in all indoor spaces such as smoking areas inside cafes.

Additionally, it would prohibit installing new such areas and would stop the sale of tobacco products in locations where smoking is banned, from 2025.

Last June, the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, said it had an ambition to decrease tobacco use in the 27-country bloc to less than five percent of the population by 2040.

Smoking was first banned in public indoor spaces in Portugal more than a decade ago.

“With this law, we hope that young people can live in an environment without tobacco, reduce the incentive to smoke and allow smokers to overcome their addiction,” Manuel Pizarro said after a Council of Ministers meeting.

“Our objective is to have a generation living without tobacco by 2040… this law is in line with the EU’s anti-tobacco stance, but we wish to go further,” he added.

The government also wants health warnings introduced on packaging of tobacco products like e-cigarettes, as is the case with traditional smoking items.

In 2019, Lisbon said some 13,500 deaths that year were linked to tobacco use.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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