Valencia Community Extends Smoking Ban on Terraces in Spain

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Valencia Community Extends Smoking Ban on Terraces in Spain
Valencia community extends ban on smoking on terraces, in line with Spain's plan to expand smoke-free areas.

According to Spanish media outlet Levante on January 24, the Valencian community has decided to extend the ban on smoking on terraces. This decision aligns with the plan announced by the Spanish Ministry of Health in December last year, which aims to expand smoke-free areas. The regulation has received support from the Valencian Technical Committee of the Spanish Cancer Association and the Valencian Family and Community Medicine Society (SoVaMFic).


These two organizations argue that smoking bans have already been widely accepted and normalized in the general public, especially over the past three years. They have actively raised awareness about the dangers of smoking and the impact of smoking on both smokers and non-smokers in shared spaces. They are calling for the reinstatement of this ban before the new national regulations are implemented, stating in a declaration, "We need to distance ourselves from the harmful smoke of tobacco and e-cigarettes before the new law is approved. We hope the government can support the fight against this major risk factor for cancer.


Their appeal is not only to expand smoke-free areas to protect non-smokers but also to "de-normalize" smoking behavior to prevent teenagers from imitating. This is one of the series of measures aimed at preventing teenagers from initiating smoking.


These two organizations emphasize that smoking remains Spain's largest public health issue, causing over 50,000 deaths annually and serving as a leading preventable risk factor for cancer, accounting for one-third of cases.


According to reports, despite the implementation of various government regulations aimed at controlling tobacco consumption, sales, and advertising, smoking rates in Spain remain high. The population continues to be heavily exposed to tobacco and e-cigarettes, especially in entertainment venues, leading to a continuous rise in smoking statistics in the country.


According to the 2022 "Alcohol and Other Drugs Survey" (Edades) in Spain, 33.1% of the population aged 15-64 smoke cigarettes daily, while 12.1% have tried e-cigarettes. In the region of Valencia, this percentage surpasses the national average, with approximately 42.3% of the residents being regular smokers.


A study conducted by the Spanish Association for Cancer Research reveals that 90% of smokers admit to smoking in outdoor public spaces, thus exposing their children to harmful gases and particulate matter. This behavior has a negative impact on teenagers, with those who were exposed to secondhand smoke during childhood being twice as likely to develop lung cancer in adulthood compared to others. Lung cancer remains the leading cause of mortality in the Valencia community.


These two organizations concluded after the conference, "The scientific evidence is clear: we need to eliminate smoking in order to create a smoke-free generation and reduce the risk of cancer. We hope that the Valencia community can become a pioneer in implementing this measure nationwide.


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