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Spain: Lawmakers approve anti-smoking law

MADRID — Spain's smoke-filled bars, corner cafes and restaurants are on the verge of extinction after lawmakers on Tuesday approved a tough new anti-smoking law that will rid the country of its reputation as one of Western Europe's easiest places to light up.
The bill, proposed by Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and his governing Socialist Party, passed in a 189-154 vote that also rejected a Senate amendment to allow casinos to have smoking areas.
Starting Jan. 2, the interiors of all bars and restaurants will be transformed into no-smoking zones, bringing Spain in line with the European Union's strictest anti-smoking nations and many US states that ban smoking in enclosed public places.
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