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Spanish Region of Galicia Bans Smoking due to Coronavirus Risk

Spanish region of Galicia Bans Smoking due to Coronavirus Risk

The Spanish region of Galicia has effectively banned smoking in public places over concerns it increases the risk of Covid-19 transmission. The ban imposed following the advice from its own medical experts as well as from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Galicia's smoking ban was announced in a press conference on Wednesday after experts recommended the measure to the regional government.

It comes as Spain faces the worst infection rate in western Europe.

Daily cases have risen from fewer than 150 in June to more than 1,500 throughout August. It recorded 1,690 new cases in the latest daily count on Wednesday, bringing the country's total to almost 330,000.

It has issued a blanket ban on smoking in the street and in public places, such as restaurants and bars, if social distancing is not possible.

The north-western region is the first to introduce such a measure, although others are considering following suit.

The move is supported by health ministry research, published last month, that outlined the link between smoking and the increased spread of coronavirus.

It said the risk was heightened due to smokers not wearing masks. It also said people project droplets when they exhale smoke, and risk infection by touching the cigarette before bringing it to their mouth.

Another fact is the smoking causing the functioning of lungs the passive and as well as active smokers. The coronavirus infection is more deadly if it affects in our respiratory system as studies show. The worst upper respiratory infections are causing the ultimate dead in the coronavirus infected people.

"Smoking with no limits... with people close by and without any social distancing [poses] a high risk of infection," regional President Alberto Núñez Feijóo told the press conference.

"We know that this is an unpopular measure for smokers," added Alberto Fernández Villar, a member of the clinical committee advising government, according to the El País newspaper. "But I believe we are in an exceptional situation."

Similar measures have been imposed elsewhere, such as in South Africa where the sale of tobacco was banned at the end of March.

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