As as from today, smoking will be prohibited throughout the entirety of the Bayside Sports Complex (BSC).
In exercise of the powers conferred on him by Section 5 of the Smoke- Free Environment Act 2012, the Minister for Health has made regulations to prohibit smoking in all areas of the Bayside Sports Complex which are not otherwise prohibited under the Act. At present, this only extended to indoor venues.
Minister Linares explained that “...initially, the prohibition was going to be effected after a change in the Gibraltar Sport and Leisure Authority’s general policy only but after liaising with Minister Costa and the Health Promotion team at the Gibraltar Health Authority it was thought best to actually make changes in the regulations in the Smoke- Free Environment Act. In effect this makes smoking within the Bayside Sports Complex illegal”
A statement continued: “Health professionals in Gibraltar have always questioned the omission of sports complexes from the original law, noting that these are areas extensively used by children and are actively promoted as healthy places. In addition, participants in sport are naturally breathing more vigorously, which requires that the air should be cleaner and less polluted, not more.
“The effects of smoking are well documented. Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) is a toxic air pollutant that pollutes the environment far more than people think or realise and breathing polluted air for even brief periods can counter the benefits of exercise. Tobacco smoke is associated with numerous illnesses in the persons exposed, including an increased risk of heart disease, lung cancer, asthma and aggravation of a number of respiratory complaints.
“No sportsperson or spectator should have to endure such exposure when it is so easily preventable. It is now increasingly common for smoking to be prohibited at stadia and sports and leisure complexes around the world and the BSC will now fall in line with this trend. The Director of Public Health and the Health Promotion team are strongly supportive of this reform and welcome its introduction.
“We urge the general public to embrace the changes and the positive intentions which have formed the basis for the decision and to co-operate with Gibraltar Sports and Leisure Authority management and staff in the execution of the new regulations.”
This also means that smoking will be prohibited in all areas during September’s MTV Presents Gibraltar Calling music festival and other entertainment events. However, as visitors are not normally allowed to leave such events and then return, a small, designated smoking area will be set up.
Pic: GSLA CEO Reagan Lima and Minister Linares