Creation of Smoke-free spaces with citizen participation. A practical experience led by the Spanish cancer league in Olleria, Valencia, Spain.
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Unidad de Prevención Contra el Cáncer - AECC, Valencia, Spain
Tobacco Addiction Group of the Valencian Society of Family Medicine, Spain
Department of Medicine, University of Valencia, Spain
Biomedical Research Institute INCLIVA, Clinical University Hospital, Valencia, Spain
Emergency Service, Vinalopó University Hospital, Alicante, Spain
Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Valencia, Spain
Publication date: 2023-04-25
Corresponding author
Beatriz Vilariño Cerdá
Unidad de Prevención Contra el Cáncer - AECC, Valencia, Spain
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2023;9(Supplement):A117
Current consumption data show that more health promotion measures are needed to promote the creation of healthy environments free of tobacco smoke and aerosols arising from Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), including legislative tools to support the work of denormalisation and change of social perception. The Spanish Association Against Cancer works to create spaces free from exposure to harmful traditional and/or electronic tobacco smoke in public and collective places.

The aim of the Smoke-free Spaces project is to create new smoke-free spaces with the commitment of institutions and through municipal regulations. Specifically, in the implementation of the project in the town of l'Olleria, the aim was to create two spaces, one urban and one natural, with the participation of citizens.

Material and Methods:
The project started with an initial phase consisting of the presentation of the project to local agents: city council, health centre (CS) and 2 associations, followed by the articulation of an interdisciplinary work team and the implementation of the questionnaire design in paper and online format and citizen consultation. This is followed by supervision and support for the actions, analysis of the results of the participatory process, publication of the selected spaces and presentation of the results of the survey and proposal to the plenary session of the City Council and subsequent implementation, which includes an impact assessment phase.

A total of 775 responses were received, of which 679 met the quality criteria set by the Task Force. The vast majority voted to free all the spaces proposed in the questionnaire. In the end, the most emblematic urban park in the municipality (Parc Pare Beat Ferreres) and a large natural area of more than 84,000m2 (L'Heretat del Salido) were chosen. The participation was mainly female (64%) and the age range with the highest representation was 36 to 45 years old. Of those surveyed, 42% had never smoked, 23% were ex-smokers, 13% were daily smokers, 6% were occasional smokers and 15% had tried it but did not smoke. Only 23 people voted that they did not want to free up any of the proposed urban spaces, and 39 people did not agree with any of the natural spaces.

c is a project that benefits the health of all people by generating a positive environmental, social and political impact. This initiative contributes to promoting a healthy lifestyle, de-normalises tobacco consumption in our society and protects the population, mainly children and young people, from environmental tobacco smoke. Although the creation of new smoke-free spaces is usually a strategy that generates some resistance, mainly from the institutions, creating a transdisciplinary work team and opting for a participatory process can be useful strategies to overcome the initial barriers. In addition, the participatory methodology favours dialogue and promotes the empowerment of the community in making decisions that affect their health.

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