BAR and restaurant owners in Mallorca’s capital have been given a financial incentive to ban smoking on their terraces.

As rumours circulate that Spain’s Health Ministry is mulling a nationwide ban, Palma City Council is offering a 5% cut in terrace tax fees if hospitality businesses go smoke-free outdoors.

The initiative comes within the Respiro Libre(Breathe Freely) campaign promoted by the Spanish Association Against Cancer in the Balearic Islands (AECC) and the Mallorca Restaurant Association(CAEB).

The president of the AECC Balearic Islands, Jose Reyes, said that ‘a reduction in tobacco consumption would imply a 30% decrease in the total number of cancer diagnoses we make in Spain each year’.

He thanked the City Council for backing the idea, making Palma the first municipality in Mallorca to broker such a deal.

“This is an example of how we can work together until the expansion of the National Anti-Smoking Law takes place,” Reyes said.

In June, the terrace smoking ban introduced as an anti-Covid measure was abolished, but a few businesses decided to main it.

Palma City Council’s website will include a section listing hospitality traders who will be taking part in the new scheme.

There’s been no indication from the CAEB so far as to how many of their members will sign up, even with the sweetener of a tax cut.

As previously reported by the Olive Press, the head of another Mallorca hospitality association voiced his strong opposition to a nationally-imposed terrace smoking ban.

“Such a ban would create difficult situations between our staff and our own customers who are smoking,” said Cesar Amable, the president of PIMEM Restauracio.

“Everything that involves restricting our customers’ freedoms is complicated,” he added. 

“Inside the restaurant, the ban is understandable because of children and the unpleasantness, but outside it’s different.” 

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