By John Ensor •
Published: 02 Feb 2024 • 10:07
Image showing cigarettes and vape stick.
A recent announcement indicates that the Spanish Ministry of Health has plans to get tough on tobacco.
On her arrival at the Ministry of Health, Monica Garcia set forth her plan to resurrect an anti-smoking initiative that was initially introduced during Carolina Darias’ tenure as health minister. The move is seen as a bold step towards a healthier nation.
This initiative underscores a commitment to enforce stricter regulations on vaping and to extend smoke-free zones to include terraces and other public areas.
The blueprint for the anti-smoking campaign includes a significant measure to raise the price of tobacco. In Spain, tobacco prices are notably lower than in other European countries.
Experts agree that higher prices serve as a potent deterrent. However, these changes hinge on negotiations with the Treasury, which oversees tax-related matters.
Additionally, there’s a push to standardise tobacco packaging, removing all branding and promotional messages. This move aligns with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) tobacco control guidelines, emphasising health warnings over brand messaging.
The initiative also aims to ban smoking in more locations, particularly where the presence of children pregnant women, or individuals with disabilities necessitates greater protection.
While the specifics are still under review, the intent is clear, to create more smoke-free spaces for the public’s well-being.
Garcia, in her parliamentary debut, expressed her vision for a generation free from smoke. She acknowledged the previous legislature’s reluctance to tighten smoking laws, citing concerns over compliance, economic impact, and social conflict.
Nevertheless, Garcia refutes these arguments, citing ample evidence and experience proving the benefits of reducing smoking rates.
The health minister also voiced her concerns over the tobacco industry’s ‘harm reduction’ strategy, which promotes vaping and new smoking methods.
She highlighted the particular risk this poses to youth, enticing them with fruity flavours and appealing designs.
In conclusion, Spain’s Ministry of Health is gearing up to implement a comprehensive anti-smoking plan. Through increased tobacco taxes, neutral packaging, and expanded smoke-free zones, the initiative aims to foster a healthier environment for all.
Monica Garcia’s commitment to reviving and enhancing this strategy reflects a significant step towards achieving a smoke-free generation.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
Our money our choice , so putting the price up will stop the addiction that the governments caused by introducing the product in the first place .
Not sure that price increase will be popular . Easier to make special areas for smokers first before unpopular price increases I should have thought .
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