Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Measures at risk due to delay in anti-smoking law: cessation of smoking in stadiums and rooftops

  • Comprehensive plans for smoking prevention and control are months behind schedule, according to scientific societies

  • Since 2010, Spain has hardly implemented any anti-smoking measures

  • The Health Ministry clarifies that the tobacco law reform, which is part of a comprehensive plan, is currently in the technical study stage.

It was more than a decade ago that the latest measures to curb tobacco consumption were approved in Spain. Then, smoking was prohibited in all closed public places, including catering establishments, as well as in playgrounds, educational and health centers enclosures. Since then, anti-smoking policies to combat the addiction, which kills 51,000 people a year, have stalled. Therefore, all eyes are focused on the Comprehensive Plan 2021-2025 for the Prevention and Control of Smoking – which has been worked out intensively by the Ministry of Health, autonomous communities and scientific societies – which has been delayed for months.

“We They have informed us that the technical work has been completed but the exact time has not been found yet. Assured Ildefonso Hernández, a spokesman for the Spanish Society of Public Health (SESPA), who warns that if the plan does not get the green light at this point in the legislature, there will be more difficulties in doing so in the future. SESPA is part of the National Committee for the Prevention of Smoking (CNPT), which has also urged the health ministry to clarify whether it intends to block legal reform of the anti-smoking law.

Health Ministry sources urge NIUS to Tobacco law reform, which is part of a broader plan, is currently in the technical study stage. “It is a rule that includes several departments within the Ministry of Health, in addition to the General Directorate of Public Health and other ministries,” he explains.

The current anti-tobacco law was approved in 2010, and was an improvement of the 2005 law. What is being worked on now is to amend a law approved in 2010. The EU aims to keep the prevalence of tobacco consumption below 10% of the population in 2030 (in Spain it is about 20% today). These are the measures that are at stake to be approved:

Neutral packaging of tobacco packs

With this type of packaging, the use of logos, colors, brand images or promotional information other than the standard color, font and font size of the brand name is prohibited in 100% of the container. The goal is to reduce the attractiveness of tobacco products and limit misleading labeling to prevent their promotion and advertising, and instead increase the effectiveness of health warnings. It is a measure supported by WHO that was successfully implemented in Australia in 2012. Eleven more countries have since adopted it, including the United Kingdom and France.

Ban smoking on the roofs of bars and restaurants

Health banned rooftop smoking in 2021 after not being able to maintain a safety distance of two meters due to Kovid. Some communities, such as the Valencian Community, continue to maintain this rule. The idea of ​​health is that prohibition is generalized to the rest of the community with the new reform of anti-tobacco law.

Prohibit smoking in the car when traveling for minors and pregnant women

For years there has been a debate about whether to allow smoking inside vehicles. In the end, the government has opted for a more lax option: ban smoking if you travel by car when children and pregnant women are inside.

Smoking ban in outdoor sports stadiums

The idea is to set up smoke free places in places where there is a large influx of people. In this way, smoking will be prohibited in football, tennis, athletics or bullring stadium.

Compare Electronic Cigarettes to Traditional Tobacco

The measures taken by the plan will also affect electronic cigarettes, which will be banned in eligible smoke-free places, as well as private vehicles.

increase taxation

The plan proposes to promote the review of taxation to estimate and increase the price of all tobacco products. It is not yet specified how much the tax on these products will vary. According to WHO, increasing tobacco tax and special prices are the most effective ways to reduce consumption.

Nation World News Desk
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