Smoking ban on terraces

Men standing smoking on terrace

Men smoking on terrace Credit: pxhere, creative commons

Balearic Islands at Odds with Spanish Government Over Terrace Smoking Ban

Resistance from various regions challenges the government’s proposed plan.

The Spanish government aims to designate terraces as smoke-free zones. On Thursday, regional health authorities conveyed their stance to Spain’s Health Minister, Monica Garcia, on the proposal to outlaw smoking in bar and restaurant terraces.

The Minister hopes for approval by Friday, yet Thursday’s meeting of the Interterritorial Council for the National Health System was expected to be fraught with tension and consensus unlikely.

Opposed to smoking ban

Certain regions, including the Balearic Islands, oppose prohibition, favouring a voluntary approach to transform terraces into smoke-free areas. Consequently, the Balearic proposals entail offering “enticing tax incentives” and quality endorsements that denote smoke-free establishments.

Each region has submitted its stance, with Elena Esteban, Director-General for Public Health in the Balearics, remarking, “One of our primary proposals, the voluntary nature of establishing smoke-free spaces, has been disregarded.”

The Balearic government’s propositions align with those of local restaurant associations, while the Balearic delegation of the Spanish Association against Cancer advocates for a ban.

Monica Garcia emphasised on Wednesday that the Spanish government seeks to amend existing laws to eradicate tobacco from places “where scientific evidence indicates that passive smoking is occurring, posing harm.” She added, “European and global studies show that 94 per cent of nicotine and toxic residues are inhaled on terraces, underscoring the need to expand smoke-free spaces.”

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Annie christmas in the Bay of Palma
Written by

Annette Christmas

Annie Christmas loves language and communication. A long-time resident of Mallorca, she enjoys an outdoor life of cycling, horse riding and mountain walking, as well as the wealth of concerts and cultural events on the island. She also plays fiddle in a traditional Mallorcan dance troupe.