STAFF REPORTER

PETROL stations in the Balearic Islands are hoping that their dwindling trade will increase now that Central Government is permitting them to sell cigarettes, Jesus Salas, the President of the Balearic Service Stations Association said yesterday.

Ironically, the new national smoking ban which prohibits cigarette smoking in all enclosed public places and some open ones, has lifted the prohibition it placed five years ago on petrol stations selling tobacco.

Salas explained that the prohibition had seriously damaged petrol station trade because as the Balearics is a tourist region, many took advantage of stops at filling stations to stock up with cigarettes and other items. He said that there are around 220 service stations in the Balearics that have suffered what he described as “brutal” loss of trade.

Some stations, he furthered, which were previously open 24 hours a day, chose to close at night because of lack of clients. “But if the tobacco trade starts to win back customers, they will consider round-the-clock opening again,” said Salas.

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