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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

The so-called "Spanish model" - Tobacco industry strategies and its impact in Europe and Latin America

Nick K Schneider1, Ernesto M Sebrié2 and Esteve Fernández34*

Author Affiliations

1 German Cancer Research Center, Unit Cancer Prevention and WHO Collaborating Centre for Tobacco Control, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany

2 Department of Health Behavior, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York, USA

3 Tobacco Control Unit, Cancer Prevention & Control Programme, Institut Català d'Oncologia-IDIBELL, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain

4 Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Medicine, Campus de Bellvitge, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

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BMC Public Health 2011, 11:907  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-907

Published: 7 December 2011

Abstract

Background

To demonstrate the tobacco industry rationale behind the "Spanish model" on non-smokers' protection in hospitality venues and the impact it had on some European and Latin American countries between 2006 and 2011.

Methods

Tobacco industry documents research triangulated against news and media reports.

Results

As an alternative to the successful implementation of 100% smoke-free policies, several European and Latin American countries introduced partial smoking bans based on the so-called "Spanish model", a legal framework widely advocated by parts of the hospitality industry with striking similarities to "accommodation programmes" promoted by the tobacco industry in the late 1990s. These developments started with the implementation of the Spanish tobacco control law (Ley 28/2005) in 2006 and have increased since then.

Conclusion

The Spanish experience demonstrates that partial smoking bans often resemble tobacco industry strategies and are used to spread a failed approach on international level. Researchers, advocates and policy makers should be aware of this ineffective policy.