By Chris King • 23 September 2022 • 21:12
Image of a man lighting a cigarette.
As announced today, Friday, September 23, by Josep Maria Argimon, Catalonia’s Minister of Health, the government is to implement ‘smoke-free’ spaces. New regulations will be introduced to convert terraces, entrances and exits of schools, and bus stops, into places where smoking is prohibited.
During an interview with TV3, Argimon revealed the government’s plans. “It doesn’t seem like it but there are times when we are waiting for the children that we are often smoking”, he said.
The Minister of Health explained that there must be a ‘transition period’ and that the measure responds to the stagnation in the reduction of smokers, Since 2017 this figure has remained stable at between 23 and 24 per cent of smokers in the total population he added.
Argimon also revealed that from January 2023 the Generalitat will offer free nicotine substitutes to people who want to quit smoking and who have incomes of less than €18,000. This will be offered because these people have practically ‘double or more’ chances of quitting the consumption of tobacco, which he has described as small.
He explained that the treatment has a cost of about €300, so he considered that “paying for it all at once, or in two batches, is expensive for a lot of people”. It complements the help that can be provided by primary care, hospitals, and 061 professionals he stressed.
Smoking has “a social ingredient” he continued, since people with a lower income level are the ones who smoke the most. He estimated that there are between 600,000 and 700,000 smokers with an income of less than €18,000.
The minister detailed that the Department of Health is finalising the draft of the regulations to take it to the Executive Council in the coming weeks, after which it will be sent to Parliament for parliamentary processing.
“Clearly we need money to improve the conditions of the workers”, he reiterated, in the face of the negotiation of the budgets, and said he trusted that by 2023 the trend of 2022 will be maintained.
In statements to EFE, Dr. Carlos Jimenez Ruiz, a reference pulmonologist for smoking in the Spanish society of pulmonology SEPAR, underlined that they fully support the Generalitat’s proposal to ban smoking in these three outdoor spaces.
“Not only will it protect non-smokers, but it will increase the motivation of smokers to quit smoking”, highlighted the expert, who was a pioneer in smoking treatment units in Madrid. He pointed out that many smokers quit when it was forbidden to light cigarettes inside restaurants, something that he has predicted will happen again with the ban on terraces, as reported by huffingtonpost.es.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
Share this story
Subscribe to our Euro Weekly News alerts to get the latest stories into your inbox!
By signing up, you will create a Euro Weekly News account if you don’t already have one. Review our
Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Download our media pack in either English or Spanish.