June 20, 2021

6 out of 10 Spaniards would ban smoking on the street due to the covid

A man smoking in the street.

A man smoking in the street.

On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, which is held on May 31, the Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (Semfyc) has published his annual survey on tobacco, which on this occasion had the participation of 5,426 people. As a novelty and given the evidence that the covid is transmitted by aerosol sprays, up to eight meters in some situations, the survey investigates whether the Spaniards would be willing to ban smoking in public spaces, stop avoid contagion, and the responses are largely in favor of increase smoke-free spaces, especially among non-smokers and ex-smokers.

In general, the 61% would not allow smoking on the street, taking into account that smokers remove the mask, and 71.8% in the terraces, spaces limited to smoke already in seven autonomous communities. Focusing on the data disaggregated according to consumption, it is striking that even 31% of smokers would support the prohibition of this habit on the streets -a percentage that rises to 71% among non-smokers- and almost 40% (38, 2%) outside bars and restaurants – 83% among non-smokers.

Without taking into account the possibility of contagion, the percentages are significantly reduced. Only 48% of non-consumers would restrict its use on the streets and 10% of smokers. Although, in the parks and beaches, The percentages in favor of banning tobacco are around 75% in the first group and 25% in those hooked on nicotine. And the ban on smoking in the car with children it would be well seen by most of those surveyed, with results that are around 70% in the two groups.


It should also be noted that for the majority of smokers (58.4%) the measure that I would recommend to reduce tobacco consumption would be an increase in awareness campaigns; followed by funding for anti-smoking treatments. For non-smokers and ex-smokers, however, the reduction of spaces where smoking is allowed, is the key to quitting this habit, with percentages of 81.3% and 72.5%, respectively.

Most of the medical societies agree with this vision, which this Thursday have returned to ask the government that expands smoke-free spaces, increases the tobacco price and protect minors more. And is that tobacco is also a “pandemic”, as stressed by the president of SemFYC, Salvador Tranche, who has recalled that annually around 52,000 people die prematurely due to tobacco consumption, while the pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 79,800 people in Spain. Although, thanks to the vaccination campaign, a horizon with fewer deaths is looming. Therefore, the doctor has considered that the “silent pandemic tobacco is more lethal and more durable than covid. ”

In addition, the combination of tobacco and coronavirus is dangerous, since the consumption of nicotine, in any of its forms, worsens the course of respiratory diseases and there is a 1.45 times higher risk of develop covid seriously among smokers.

16 types of cancer

In turn, the president of the Spanish Association Against Cancer, Ramón Reyes, explained that “tobacco is related to 16 types of Cancer, since it has about 70 carcinogenic substances. “According to calculations by this group, if no one smoked, the appearance of malignant tumors would be reduced by up to 30%. Reyes has stressed the need to toughen the tobacco law, specifically in all those spaces where there may be minors, which in his opinion “would reduce the start of consumption in the youngest”.

Likewise, the National Committee for the Prevention of Smoking (CNPT), made up of 38 scientific societies and other groups, has insisted on the harmful effects of new ways nicotine consumption, such as electric cigarettes or pipes. According to the WHO, these new formats also have harmful effects on the lungs, heart and blood vessels.


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