Health department intends to ban smoking in private vehicles
Decreasing tobacco consumption and road accidents among reasons for new legislation
The Catalan health department wants to step up its struggle against tobacco –and banning smoking in private vehicles might be the next move.
In an interview with the Catalan News Agency (ACN), the public health secretary Joan Guix said that he wants to find a consensus in order to ban smoking in private vehicles, especially when children are inside.
According to him, smoking has a "risk of accident" as it also does eating and drinking while driving –and that is why both are banned.
But for Guix, smoking can also lead to health problems for the other people who are in the vehicle.
Smoking falls to all-time low
In 2017 Catalonia registered the all-time low of smokers at 24% of people aged over 14. In 1990, over a third of the population were classified as smokers. Despite this, there are still 1.5 million smokers in the country.
Yet the health department still wants to lower these figures and Joan Guix believes that starting to regulate smoking in the public spaces might contribute to do so.
During the interview, he admitted that the Spanish 'anti-tobacco law' passed eight years ago remarkably contributed in the struggle against smoking, which from then on has been banned in almost all indoor public spaces including bars, restaurants, public transport and shops.
Yet Guix claims that the law left certain "tolerance" in private spaces, and therefore for him there is still room to work on it.
Besides outdoor sports facilities or the surroundings of buildings in which smoking is already banned might be other targets of future regulations about this issue.
According to him, Catalonia has got powers to legislate on smoking although he believes banning tobacco in vehicles should also be agreed with the Traffic authority.