Thursday, January 27

New health anti-smoking offensive: smoking ban in the car and limits on electronic cigarettes

The Ministry of Health has finalized an ambitious Comprehensive Plan against Smoking that introduces, among other issues, the smoking ban in private vehicles, the generic packaging of tobacco brands and seeks to equalize by law the restrictions on electronic cigarettes.

The Government is aware of the delay in its commitments in the fight against tobacco, in large part because it has had to focus on combating the pandemic of the COVID-19, but now you have decided to approve a plan with five goals and 21 objectives that will try to make up for lost time in the next four years.

For this reason it has pressed the accelerator and has just sent the draft of its “Comprehensive Plan for the Prevention and Control of Smoking 2021-2025”, to which Efe has had access, to scientific and medical societies, and also to the autonomous communities , so that before the 15th of this month they present their contributions.

In their 119 pages, the Ministry directed by Carolina Darias recalls in this plan that more than a decade has passed since the last “substantial” modification in the sanitary measures against smoking and, hand in hand with the standards set by the European Union and the WHO now aspires to achieve a “tobacco-free generation” in Spain.

For this and “before the year 2023” It will be proposed to increase smoke-free spaces -which also includes electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products-, “especially in outdoor spaces”, an implicit reference to the terraces of bars and restaurants and the vicinity of public buildings, sources say sanitary.

Adaptation of the regulations

Also in the short term and “to be implemented in two years”, the Ministry of Health wants to modify the law 28/2005 and the royal decree 579/2017, thus adapting all the regulations against smoking “to the changes produced in the market with the appearance of new products and achieving progress in the regulation of smoke-free spaces “.

These smoke-free spaces and “no aerosol e-cigarettes“They also include” certain spaces in the private sphere “, such as” private vehicles “.

As a basic line of action, the General Directorate of Public Health has also incorporated the plan “to equate by law the advertising, promotion and sponsorship of related products and new products to the existing one for tobacco products”, as well as better regulation of the sale and consumption of tobacco-related products, whether “with or without nicotine.”

In addition, they want to stop the increasing covert advertising and promotions on social networks and platforms of all these new products.

Boxes with generic packaging

Likewise, Health is proposing via a royal decree to follow in the wake of other countries such as France or Australia and implement the generic packaging of tobacco packs, in such a way as to remove the attractiveness of brands and help reduce cigarette consumption, such as as recommended by medical-scientific societies. He also wants to ban flavoring additives in tobacco and related products.

The Ministry of Darias also has as a line of action “to promote the revision of taxation to achieve an increase and approximation of the price of all tobacco products and heating devices used for their consumption”, as well as “promote that they are taxed electronic cigarettes with special taxes“.

According to this Plan, “Spain plans to achieve the goal established by the WHO of a 30% relative reduction in tobacco use by 2025 “ compared to 2010 data and to achieve this it also wants to raise the taxation of new tobacco products.

One of the novelties compared to other plans tobacco is that this draft It openly includes the need to look for “alternatives to tobacco growing” in Spain and environmental considerations regarding the elimination of waste, such as expanding the ban on smoking on beaches, which helps to eliminate some residues -the cigarette butts- that seriously affect to the marine ecosystem.

The ultimate goal is that with all this a reduction of one third of premature mortality due to diseases is achieved non-transferable by 2030 and follow the European recommendation to lower the daily smoking rate by 5% by 2040, two points more among young people between 14 and 18 years of age.

The Ministry of Health wants all these objectives qwho seek to save lives be shared by all parties and, thus, “establish a National Agreement on Smoking Prevention with the support of parliamentary groups.”

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