THE VALENCIAN Health Ministry says that 17.6% of people aged 15 years and over classify themselves as regular smokers in the Valencian Community.
2.6% of residents said they were ‘sporadic’ smokers in findings from the 2022 regional health survey.
The results published on the eve of Wednesday’s ‘World No Tobacco Day’ show a trend moving towards younger-aged smokers.
The main group last year was of people aged between 25 and 44 years, while previous studies had the principle age group for smokers between 45 and 64 years.
The health ministry says that there are more smokers among more disadvantaged people(28%) falling to 14.1% in wealthier and higher social class groups.
The average age when smoking starts among boys and girls is 14.1 years with females more likely to take up cigarettes.
Nevertheless boys would smoke more per day(6.8 cigarettes) compared to girls(5.4 cigarettes).
The prevalence of electronic cigarettes is rising with 48.1% of boys and 44.5% trying them.
The ministry is working on initiatives to combat smoking among children and younger people with a Virtual Classroom for smoking prevention which includes a website, phone app, and guide to the dangers of smoking.
The Valencian Community has 54 smoke-free beaches and currently has a ban- introduced during the Covid pandemic- on smoking at bar and restaurant terraces.
Support is also available from GPs and health centres for prescribed treatments and courses to quit smoking.
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- Smoking ban on bar and restaurant terraces stays for now in Spain’s Costa Blanca and Valencia areas
- Teenagers in Valencia region start drinking alcohol and smoking earlier than in other parts of Spain