October 7, 2022

Catalonia expands smoke-free areas and bans smoking on terraces

Barcelona, ​​​​September 23 (EFE).- The government of Catalonia is working on a regulation to expand outdoor smoke-free areas, including around schools or on the terraces of bars, while simultaneously offering free replacement nicotine treatments to people with disabilities. income under 18,000 euros per year.

This was brought up by the Minister of Health, Josep Maria Argimon, in an interview on TV3, in which he admitted that since 2017 the percentage of smokers has stagnated around 23% of the population, so it is necessary to “give a boost ” of the administration so that the numbers go down.

In this sense, he has explained that the Ministry of Health is preparing a scheme to allow smoke-free outdoor spaces, including the environs of schools, the terraces of bars and restaurants and the awnings of bus stops, although it has not specified what sanctions will be for non- compliance.

This initiative follows the same line as the comprehensive plan against smoking, which has been at a standstill at the Ministry of Health for several months.

Argimon recalled that these measures had already been proposed by Catalonia for a state settlement that has not yet come to fruition: “Now we can do it -from the Generalitat- perfectly”, he considered.

The Ministry of Health is finalizing the draft regulation to take it to the Consell Executiu in the coming weeks, after which it will be sent to Parliament for parliamentary consideration, the minister has indicated.

Since the incidence of smoking is higher among those with fewer resources, Argimon explained that Health will also offer free nicotine replacement therapy to smokers with an income below 18,000 euros, which is about 600,000 people in Catalonia.

Unlike the regulations for smoke-free areas, this measure does not have to go through parliament, but only needs to be approved by the Ministry of Health and will be implemented in January, the minister said.

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