canary islands

Public areas targeted for smoking prohibition in the Canary Islands

In an ambitious move to combat public smoking and its associated health risks, the Canary Islands Ministry of Health has unveiled a comprehensive proposal aimed at significantly expanding smoke-free areas across the region.

The Canary Islands Ministry of Health is actively pursuing the implementation of a smoking ban in outdoor areas associated with bars, restaurants, sporting venues, as well as in the vicinity of educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and hospitals. This initiative was highlighted in a recent press statement released last Friday.

This proposal forms part of a series of recommendations submitted by the Directorate General for Public Health earlier last week. The proposal specifically seeks to extend smoking restrictions to include the outdoor sections of bars and restaurants, sports facilities, shelters at bus stops, and areas surrounding the entrances to locations where smoking is currently prohibited, such as schools, health centres, hospitals, and similar establishments, as outlined by the ministry.

Public areas targeted for smoking prohibition in the Canary Islands

Esther Monzón, the Regional Health Minister of the Canary Islands Government, emphasised the need for continued efforts towards achieving broad consensus and dialogue concerning the Comprehensive Plan for the Prevention and Control of Smoking. This call was made following her participation in the meeting of the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System (SNS) held on Friday. While the Canary Islands have endorsed the Plan, there is a strong desire to further delineate smoke-free zones, which have not been explicitly defined in the document.

The necessity for changes to be underpinned by “scientific evidence” and accompanied by a “financial record” to ensure the feasibility of the proposed measures was also highlighted. The Canary Islands have called for specific goals, actions, and measures, along with a financial plan to support the execution of these initiatives.

Public areas targeted for smoking prohibition in the Canary Islands

Regarding electronic cigarettes and vaping devices, the Plan is advised to adopt the Canary Islands’ approach, which includes the taxation of tobacco products (extending this categorisation to include electronic cigarettes, which are not currently classified as such). It also recommends a prohibition on disposable vapes that contain microplastics and non-biodegradable electronic components, posing significant environmental hazards.

To prevent the initiation of tobacco use among the youth, the proposal also suggests imposing the same restrictions on the packaging, advertising, and sale of refills for nicotine-delivery electronic devices as are currently applied to tobacco products. This measure aims to deter young individuals from starting to use tobacco through these devices.

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