Police in the Balearic Islands of Ibiza and Formentera will, from this Friday confiscate cigarettes found on children under 18.
Smoking in the street or simply carrying tobacco will be considered a clandestine activity for under 18s and their cigarettes, lighters, papers and any other items for smoking will be confiscated.
There is no law banning underage children from smoking in the street, therefore, the Minors Unit of the Local Police has had to strictly interpret the Balearic Minors’ Law in order to justify their decision to take cigarettes away from children.
Parents and local councils support the plan to adhere to article 60, which says that the police can intervene in situations which put children at risk.
It allows them to act when there is a ‘slight damage to the physical health of the minor’ or when ‘due to its nature or repetition, the effects may persist or worsen.’
The police say they want children to understand that they are protecting them from a legal drug which is harming them, rather than think that they have to find ways to smoke without being caught.
Disciplinary proceedings will be opened against children who are caught, the same as if they were found with other drugs, but once their parents are informed, they will have 15 days to collect the seized items.
Parents who don’t take measures to prevent their children from smoking will be sent before the social services.
An investigation will be opened to determine how the youngsters got their hands on the cigarettes.