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Spanish government set to ban smoking on terraces

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The national ministry of health believes that public acceptance of smoking restrictions during the pandemic should be taken advantage of in extending the ban on smoking in public areas – and bar terraces are one of these.

The deputy director of health promotion, Pilar Campos, says that the 2010 anti-smoking law was “pioneering” in limiting smoking but that it is now necessary to address further issues. One of these is the extension of smoke-free areas.

Campos observes that there was good acceptance of restrictions by the public during the pandemic, once transmission by aerosols of tobacco and related products was demonstrated. Seven regions are maintaining the terrace ban. The Balearics is one of these regions. The others are Aragon, Asturias, the Canary Islands, Cantabria, La Rioja and Valencia.

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Campos has not specified when there might be amendment to the anti-smoking law, but a a commitment to tightening this law was made by the former health minister, Salvador Illa, in February 2020 and so shortly before the state of alarm. He had stated that his intention was to extend smoke-free spaces and to prohibit smoking inside vehicles. An increase in price was another measure.

For his part, the president of the National Committee for Smoking Prevention, Andrés Zamorano, is once more regretting the fact that Spain is a “low- cost” destination for smokers who buy tobacco products at prices much lower than those in neighbouring countries. He wants to see increased taxation of all tobacco products and their derivatives, including electronic cigarettes.

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