Smoking ban unlikely to be lifted. | Marcelo Sastre

The ban on smoking on restaurant and bar terraces in the Balearica Islands was introduced in August 2020, it’s still in force and it’s now looking like it will stay in place forever.

The General Director of Public Health, Maria Antònia Font, says the ban will be extended, pending Anti-Tobacco Law reforms planned by end of 2023.

“We are under pressure to eliminate the measure, but we want to keep it for now to protect people,” explains Font. “It is better to keep it until we get the new regulations.”

The state Public Health Commission is already working on a Comprehensive Plan for the Prevention and Control of Smoking to decide where the lines will be drawn before the Anti-Tobacco Law is modified.

“Recommendations are being gathered, which include the latest scientific evidence," added Font, who said they are looking at how to prevent people from starting smoking and ways to increase smoke-free zones outdoors.

“There will be a better specified outer radius and changes to non-smoking areas beside hospitals, schools and other places where there are minors,” she said. “The Balearic Addiction Law is also being worked on, but the regulations are more restrictive than the one in force at national level, so it must be kept aside until the State Government takes the first step. The new regulatory measures aim to make the population co-responsible and an active part in the fight against tobacco.”

According to the Spanish Association Against Cancer, tobacco is responsible for 30% of cancer deaths; 22% of the population over the age of 15 years smokers and expose the remaining 78% to second hand smoke, so smoking is considered a number one public health problem.