Smoking is banned on terraces in the Balearics but not in other regions. | Alejandro García

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An Inca lawyer, Gabriel Mayol, has filed a motion to set aside the Balearic government's ban on smoking on bar/restaurant terraces. He says in his motion: "If you can smoke on the street while maintaining a distance of two metres, there is no reason why this cannot be done on a terrace, as is the case in other regions."

He explains that he has taken this action out of personal outrage at the measure (he is a smoker) and because "nobody does anything". His view is that the government has taken advantage of Covid to circumvent smoking legislation that does allow smoking on terraces. Consequently, and in his opinion, there is a misuse of power.

"The consumption of tobacco is not prohibited and nor is its sale." He believes the measure is counterproductive because it takes away an incentive for smokers to be on terraces rather than inside bars, "thus increasing the risk of infection given that the number of people inside increases".

Mayol further maintains that the measure is an attack on the dignity of smokers, who are forced to "get up from their chairs to stand on the pavement in order to smoke, which makes their addict status more evident".

The restriction, which has been in place for more than a year and a half, implies arbitrariness. "It was established without any conclusive scientific basis and clashes with the fact that smoking is allowed when you are not on the terraces."

The government is not obliged to respond to this sort of motion, but if it does not, Mayol will consider making it a court matter by appealing for judicial review.