The President of the Xunta de Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, announced a ban on smoking while driving on the street and in other public spaces if the safety distance cannot be guaranteed. The reason? “Several members of the clinical committee agreed that smoking without any limitation on terraces or areas with a large influx of citizens is a high risk,” Feijóo explained at a press conference.
We still do not have the text of the regulation because, as one might expect, it contains many legal derivatives and “it is being drafted to ensure legal certainty”. However, if all goes as planned by the Xunta, It will come into force from Thursday in the four Galician provinces. The idea follows the recommendations of the document prepared in July by the public health commission of the national health system, which already warned that smoking and vaping could increase the risk of contagion. This is what we know so far.
Does smoking increase the risk of contracting the virus?
LAST MINUTE | Feijóo also announces that it will be banned from smoking in the streets of Galicia from tomorrow to prevent the spread of the virus https://t.co/9MwLMOCEfB pic.twitter.com/uuSoSwxUf4
– G24 (@ G24Noticias) August 12, 2020
In fact, on July 2, the Public Health Commission obtained the opinion of the World Health Organization and several scientific and medical societies on the question. In addition to pointing out that smoking is a risk factor in the progression of the disease, found that there are other risks associated with the spread of the virus.
As they noted, smoking and vaping generally involves “handling the protective mask and repetitive finger-to-mouth contact after touching products (conventional or electronic cigarettes) or utensils (water pipes). ) ”. Likewise, although no evidence has been found that smokers expire more viruses than non-smokers, the fact of smoking appears to be linked to practices which involve “the expulsion of respiratory droplets which may contain a viral load and be very contagious”. To all of this must be added the “loosening of the social security distance” from “social smoking”.
In other words, the authorities have found that smoking is an activity associated with risky behavior. However, the commission’s recommendations were “Avoid its consumption in community and social contexts” and “take place in separate open spaces, taking extreme personal hygiene measures” (With hand washing before and after handling the products and utensils used. In addition, it banned the use of water pipes during phases I, II and III of deconfinement.
La Xunta, in this case, would go further. Create a legal basis to intervene in contexts where tobacco use generates risky situations. However, there are doubts about the real effectiveness of this type of ban. Ultimately, “unsafe social gatherings” (ie people without masks in the open air) would already be banned and it seems unlikely that smoking outside would have a real impact on the number of people. case. However, the Xunta will allow us to see it live and live.
Source : Engadget