Visitors to a popular Spanish tourist town have been banned from smoking on all its beaches after a unanimous agreement between political parties.
The ban was approved at the end of July in the municipality of Cullera, in the eastern Spanish community of Valencia.
The regional secretary of Health and Public Health, Isaura Navarro, declared on his Twitter account: “Together we will be able to generate healthy smoke-free spaces that improve our health and the health of the planet.”
According to the national newspaper 20 Minutos, the ban will affect all 15 kilometres (9 miles) of the municipality’s beaches.
The new rules were put into action almost immediately and on 3rd August smoke-free flags were raised on each of the beaches.
The ban is part of a “smokeless beaches” initiative promoted by the health ministries of each Spanish autonomous community to achieve smoke-free spaces.
The goal is to eliminate passive smoking, promote a healthier public spirit and limit the accumulation of cigarette butt pollution which can take up to 10 years to decompose.
With this decision, the network of smokeless beaches in Spain has continued its expansion which began in 2006 with the smoking ban on La Playa de L’Escala, in the municipality of Girona, in the community of Catalonia, northeastern Spain.
Several communities currently support the initiative, which totals just over 200 smoke-free beaches.
The crown of smoke-free beaches is held by the autonomous community of Galicia which has a total of 141 smoke-free beaches.
According to 20 Minutos, as it stands the Spanish anti-smoking laws do not allow fines for smoking outdoors, although some municipalities have created a municipal ordinance with fines.
This is the case of the Canary Islands and Andalusia, where fines can reach 400 EUR (361 GBP) for smoking in prohibited outdoor spaces, and between 1,800 and 3,000 EUR (1,624 and 2,708 GBP) for throwing away cigarett