The NGO Nofumadores.org is lobbying to have smoking banned in some public spaces and has asked the Ministry of Health to prohibit smoking in the streets and on terraces where it’s not possible to keep a distance of at least 10 metres, instead of the 2 metres advised by the Government.
“With the arrival of Covid-19 it is necessary to empower the 70% of the population that don’t smoke,” said Salvador Tárraga, the NGO’s National Spokesperson & Coordinator, who stressed the importance of maintaining a distance of at least 10 metres, a move he claims has the support of the scientific community.
Nofumadores.org says smokers have an obligation to behave responsibly to stop the spread of the virus and claims that “in busy streets and on a large number of terraces that are very full, smokers are not respecting safety measures.”
“What we are proposing is that people who do smoke respect those of us who don’t, by staying at least 10 metres away,” says Tárraga. “Right now it is ridiculous that they allow smoking on terraces; Mallorca is in level 4, so let’s stop people smoking where it is supposed to be prohibited because the coronavirus measures won’t work if they’re not complied with.”
The consolidation of spaces where tobacco smoking and vaping is banned; declaring public and private transport smoke free zones; higher tobacco taxes and tighter sales regulations are just some of the measures being proposed by different Anti-Smoking Organisations that are part of ‘End Game for Tobacco in Spain’ which urges the Government to establish the first tobacco free generation by 2025 and end tobacco use by 2030.
“Covid-19 is still a problem,” says Tárraga, “but there are other things like tobacco that cause death and disability.”
Dr. Javier Cortés, President of the Spanish Association Against Cancer in the Balearics is also keen to expand smoke-free spaces and eradicate smoking in public places.
“The measures on smoking that were announced by the Government are a setback and harmful to people’s health,” he said and pointed out that smoking also increases the risk of Covid-19 transmission.