Valencian beach in Cala de Finestrat becomes first to ban smoking and introduces fines of €750.
A “Smoke-free beach” flag was flying today, Monday, July 19, in the Cala de Finestrat, Valencia.
The flag was hoisted in the presence of the mayor, Juanfran Perez Llorca, the Councillor for Health, Nati Delgado, the mayor of Environment and Beach, David Alarcón and the Quality Manager of the Public Health Center Benidorm, Maria Llinares Llorca.
This recognises the compliance of the municipality of Finestrat to the NETWORK OF SMOKE-FREE BEACHES of the Valencian Community. The commitment was confrimed by a plenary agreement last May.
At the end of the hoisting of the flag the mayor, Juanfran Perez Llorca said that “with the desire to create healthy spaces for citizens and, at the same time, spaces protected from the harmful effects of tobacco smoke, we have joined this network “Smoke-free beaches” of the Comunitat. Last year we already implemented this measure at a local level: no smoking inside the beach enclosure.”
And this year we adhere to this plan of the Generalitat as a measure of health prevention and to combat smoking, which increasingly affects younger ages. In the hoisting of the flag the mayor indicated a nuance in these measures: “It is not about banning smoking but to prohibit smoking in a certain space that is the sand of the beach.”
We do not want to restrict anyone’s freedom. We want to implement measures to protect health and also to protect the environment because we are avoiding the accumulation of cigarette butts, with all the damage and dirt they generate to the natural environment”.
In addition to the flag “Smoke-free beach” that already flies in the cove from the City Council, the measure was indicated by signage, public address announcements, in addition to the assistants who inform users that the Cala de Finestrat is a tobacco-free beach.
The Head of Quality of the Public Health Center Benidorm, Maria Llinares Llorca, said that “this is one of the activities that is part of the strategy of prevention of smoking: to ensure that our beaches are healthy, that there is no deterioration of the environment because cigarette butts have a persistence of 10 years and to reduce the percentage of smokers over 16 years-old.
Llinares Llorca encouraged the municipalities to maintain this commitment over time “and I also encourage other beaches of the Marina Baixa Health Department to join this Network of “Smoke-free beaches” of the Comunitat”.
The City Council amended its ordinance No. 29 of coexistence in public space to prohibit smoking and also vaping (smoking with electronic cigarettes) in all areas of public use of the beach. Failure to comply can lead to penalties of up to 750 €.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article, please remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories.