Archive image EUROPA PRESS The Department of Health wants to reduce tobacco consumption and will extend the smoking ban to more outdoor spaces. According to the minister, Josep Maria Argimon, they are preparing a regulation that declares more smoke-free spaces, such as school entrances, terraces and bus shelters. He announced it in an interview on the TV3 program ‘Els matins’. The Minister has also advanced that Salut will offer free nicotine substitutes to people with incomes below 18,000 euros. Competition The Minister has explained that the text is almost finished and that it will be presented to the Government in the coming weeks. Afterwards, he will have to go through parliamentary procedures. Argimon has also assured that the Generalitat has full powers to carry out the ban: “we have studied it”, he has said. One of the factors that has motivated the new anti-smoking offensive is the stagnation in the reduction of smokers. According to data from the Generalitat, there is still between 23 and 24% of the population addicted to tobacco, a figure that has remained stable since 2017. According to the Minister, some 50,000 smokers try to quit each year. For this reason, the Government also wants to help people with lower incomes to achieve it and plans to offer completely free nicotine substitutes to people with incomes lower than 18,000 euros. The government estimates that there are between 600,000 and 700,000 people who will be able to save 300 euros. The Catering Guild, angry The reaction of the catering guild in the announcement of the ban on smoking on the terraces of establishments has been immediate. In an interview in Rac1, the president of the guild, Roger Pallarols, has assured that “the minister was wrong”. He considers that there is no conflict on the terraces due to the fact that it can be smoked. In fact, he assures that the sector carried out a survey of a thousand people in which it was found that there is no problem of coexistence on the terraces due to the fact that some clients smoke and others do not. Pallarols has also lamented that the decision will have an impact very negative in the sector at a time when there is great concern about the economic situation with “runaway inflation”.
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