Wed. Sep 28th, 2022

Barcelona, ​​September 23 (EFE).- The government of Catalonia is working on a regulation to expand smoke-free spaces outside, including around schools or on bar terraces, and at the same time offer free nicotine replacement therapy. To people with income below 18,000 euros per year.

Health Minister Josep Maria Argimon advanced this in an interview on TV3, where he admitted that since 2017 the percentage of smokers has stagnated at around 23% of the population, so it is necessary to “give an impetus. From the side of the administration so that the figures decrease.

In this sense, he elaborated that the Department of Health is developing a regulation to have smoke-free outdoor spaces, in which he listed school environments, rooftops of bars and restaurants, and canopies at bus stops, although it did not specify the sanctions that would be imposed for non-compliance.

The initiative follows the same line of work as the comprehensive plan against smoking, which has been stalled by the Ministry of Health for several months.

Argimon reminded that these measures had already been proposed by Catalonia for a state control that had not yet progressed: “Now we can do it -from the Generalitat-, completely,” he considered.

The Department of Health is finalizing the draft regulation to take it to the Council Executive by next week, after which it will be sent to Parliament for parliamentary processing, the minister indicated.

As smoking is more common among people with less wealth, Argimon explained that the health will also offer free nicotine replacement therapy to smokers with an income of less than 18,000 euros, which is about 600,000 people in Catalonia.

Unlike the regulation of smoke-free places, this measure does not have to go through parliament, but only needs to be approved by the Department of Health and will start to be implemented in January, the minister noted.

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