MADRID – A petition to make all beaches in Spain smoke free, has been delivered to Health Minister Carolina Darias by campaigners No Fumadores.
Almost 300,000 people signed the petition and numerous councillors back the initiative. Chemicals in cigarette smoke and in cigarette butts are harmful. The chemicals are not only harmful to humans, but also to bird and sea life.
475 smoke free beaches
Last summer, there were already 475 smoke free beaches. NoFumadores.org aim to ban smoking on all beaches in Spain. They believe beaches should be healthy places with clean air. Moreover, beaches should not be places where children play on the sand beside cigarette butts or where you can breathe in passive smoking.
The organisation has complied a list of smoke free beaches in Spain and the Islands.
The campaigners also wish smoking to be banned at swimming pools and outdoor sports events among other places. In a recent press release, they demanded a change in the law to prevent people smoking in sports stadiums before the public can return to these areas.
During various beach cleans, cigarette butts were identified as the most widely recovered item that littered the beaches. The filters in cigarettes could be classed as single use plastics and as such should be banned.
Furthermore, there has been no evidence these filters protect people from cancer. However, there is evidence that plastic is causing a devastating effect on our sea and bird life. The filters are not biodegradable. They do breakdown with UV exposure, but the particles remain in the environment.
Damange to sea and bird life
The damage to sea and bird life is not only done while smoking on the beach. Smoking on the street can also mean discarded butts end up being swept down the storm water drains which ultimately end up in the seas. Also, birds pick up the butts and ingest them.