In a statement, ANAREC says it was "surprised" by the information that the Council of Ministers intends to approve a bill "that extends the ban on the sale of tobacco to gas stations".

"Although it is extremely important to promote health and protect the population from exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, it does not seem to us that this path is taken by restricting points of sale of tobacco", says the association.

The measure "proves to be unequal and discriminatory, favouring and increasing the revenues and sales of a scarce group of traders, to the detriment of others, such as in the case of fuel filling stations", considers the association.

"Let's be realistic: tobacco will continue to be sold, sales will be centralised in some establishments, benefiting these businesses while harming others", underlines the association.

ANAREC appeals to the Government "to step back within the scope of the ban on tobacco sales at fuel stations, a sector that has suffered in recent years".

The association says that it was not previously heard about this intention of the Government and that it will still formally react against this measure that it considers "unfair and disproportionate".

The sale of tobacco in vending machines will be banned in 2025 and later this year smoking will be banned in outdoor spaces next to public buildings such as schools, colleges or hospitals, according to a proposed law.

The objective is to restrict the sale of tobacco to tobacconists, or similar, and at airports from January 2025.