Galicia and the Challenges It Faces

And the weather, despite clichés, it is really hot in the summer.”
What community need did I learn about?:

Galicia is a successful region in many senses, but there are still challenges that this community faces. Environmental dangers such as overfishing and water pollution. Equally important, Galicia's economy needs to diversify since 40% of its economy depends on agriculture. The issue that speaks most to me is the use of tobacco.

During my walks around the city, I often smell cigarettes. In cafés, stores, and even on the university campus, access to cigarettes is easy and obtainable. Tobacco use in Galicia and the rest of Spain is an issue. One in four Spaniards smoke, 22.7% of the population smokes daily, 2.3% occasionally and 26.1% used to smoke. Meanwhile, in the U.S., smoking is at a record low.

Why does the community have this need?:

History of smoking in Galicia and the rest of Spain is long. When under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, Spaniards smuggled in tobacco. To this day, Galician clans smuggle in illegal tobacco (tobacco that fails to comply with legislation). Today, smoking in Galicia is far from illegal. Up until recently, legislation regulating the tobacco industry was scarce. Organizations and campaigns like Programa Gallego de Promoción de la Vida sin Tobacco (Galician program to promote life without tobacco) are trying to control the use of tobacco. I believe that the issue is that the perception of tobacco is culturally acceptable.

Is this need being met? How?:

I have faith that the number of smokers will decrease over time.

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