By Claire Gordon • 05 November 2021 • 10:31
The Spanish Society of Pulmonary and Thoracic Surgery (SEPAR) has entered into the debates around the need for anti-smoking legislation to be updated and reinforced to help people stop smoking. They have suggestop smokinsted five “inalienable measures” to the Ministry of Health to reduce the amount of tobacco consumed in Spain and therefore hopefully bring down the number of related deaths also. Related deaths currently stand at around 60,000 a year.
The first demand is to raise the price of tobacco, in “all the ways” it can be consumed. SEPAR want the price to go up not just on cigarettes and cigars, but also rolling tobacco, shisha waterpipes, electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco.
For the second requirement, the Ministry of Health has already tabled the idea of tightening restrictions around smoking in public places. It has already been passed that you can no longer smoke indoors at venues, but both SEPAR and the Ministry want to take it away from terraces also. SEPAR also want the “prohibition of tobacco consumption in open public spaces” such as “terraces, sports stadiums, beaches, parks, and bullrings.” It also wants a more punitive system for those who break the rules.
Next is the packaging, the demand is for plain covers for every brand, so no difference can be told of them. The countries that have bought this measure in already have reported that the smoking rates have gone down and there are fewer sales of tobacco in their areas. According to SEPAR the fourth measure should be to “regulate the sale, consumption and advertising of electronic cigarettes and devices that heat but do not burn tobacco”, which should be equal to that what conventional cigarettes have.”
Finally, they ask for increased help and healthcare to help people stop smoking, with the creation of stop smoking units and readily financed treatments available for any quitters. With all of these demands met, the SEPAR how to reduce the rates of smoking across the country, and counteract the raise of people buying cigarettes that has been occurring since 2017.
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