The Spanish Society of Pulmonology and Thoracic Surgery (SEPAR) and the Valencian Society of Pulmonology have called on public administrations to do so in a joint statement To protect non-smokers, smoking is prohibited on the terraces and workers and also contribute to reducing smoking in Spain by not normalizing this consumption.
In this context, they have expressed their opposition to the repeal of this measure in the Valencian Community, the only autonomy where it was still banned due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, they have indicated that they will reject this veto because the Tobacco and e-cigarette consumption on terraces leads to a “significant increase” in air pollution in these rooms due to toxic substances from tobacco or e-cigarettes.
They indicate that the terraces represent one of the places most commonly used for smoking and vaping according to published studies, the concentration of toxic substances in these environments increases by 30% for every person who smokes or vapes.
Therefore, terrace users are exposed to significant concentrations of harmful gases and particles which arise from the exhalation of the smoker or vaper, the combustion of cigarettes and butts, the mixing of these toxic substances with gases in the atmosphere or chemical substances that adhere to clothing or other surfaces in the companies’ facilities. Terraces.
Furthermore, they emphasize that there is solid scientific evidence supporting passive exposure to tobacco smoke increased frequency of cardiovascular diseases respiratory or fetal diseases: “There is no limit for toxic concentrations of tobacco and e-cigarettes in these environments.” They warn that this exposure primarily affects the most vulnerable population group: children, pregnant women, hospitality workers, or people with pre-existing chronic illnesses.
Introduction to tobacco use
Likewise, they emphasize that smoking and vaping on terraces “represents a form of normalization of consumption, encourages young people to smoke and makes it more difficult for the tobacco-addicted population to quit smoking,” which “It is very difficult to reduce the prevalence of smoking in Spain.”
For all these reasons, they urge public administrations to Declare patios as smoke-free environments due to the need to protect non-smokers from the toxic substances of tobacco and nicotine, electronic devices, and hotel employees from the consequences of prolonged exposure to tobacco smoke and electronic devices.
In addition, it should be noted that this measure serves to promote attempts to quit smoking, Increasing your chances of quitting smoking At the same time, the behaviors associated with smoking and vaping are being denormalized.