Spain: Smoke fills the air as huge explosion rocks Madrid after fire
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Tobacco companies could be forced to pay for the cleaning up of cigarette butts that are left in the street under new environmental regulations in Spain. These new rules will come into force on Friday and are part of a drive to combat waste and increase rates of recycling, according to The Guardian.
They also include bans on single-use plastic cutlery and plates, plastic straws, and reducing plastic packaging on food items.
Cigarette companies will also be required to educate the public about not throwing cigarettes on the floor in public spaces.
However, the cost of the cleanups and how it will be implemented is yet to be revealed.
According to one study, it has been estimated that the total bill for tobacco companies could top €1billion (£882,000).
Any potential costs that the tobacco firms incur as a result of the measures is likely to be passed onto the customer.
This is therefore likely to be another incentive for smokers to quit.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), almost a fifth of the adult and adolescent population in Spain smokes.
As a result, the WHO have argued that the health, economic and environmental of tobacco use is “substantial”.
The Spanish government has already made efforts to limit smoking in public areas with 525 beaches (17.5 percent of all Spanish beaches) declared smoke free in 2021.
In response, the WHO argued that the benefits of such beach bans are “extensive” as they can help the environment as well as saving lives.
They said: “The benefits to beach smoking bans are extensive.
“They not only help decrease second-hand exposure to tobacco smoke, which causes more than 1.2 million premature deaths per year on a global scale, but also reduce litter, prevent harm to the environment caused by cigarette butts and improve amenities.”
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The Spanish campaign group Nofumadores.org has been calling for the banning of the selling of tobacco to those born after 2007.
They are also calling for the Spanish government to act to ensure that the prevalence of smoking is cut to five percent by 2030.
Raquel Fernández, president of Nofumadores.org said these measures would help reduce the number of Spaniards smoking ensuring that the habit only had a “residual” presence in society.
She said: “The time has come to consider the progressive abolition of the sale of tobacco as an objective, starting with those born after 2007, to ensure that its consumption is residual in Spanish society.”
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