• May 23, 2024

Spain Approves Anti-Smoking Plan

 Spain Approves Anti-Smoking Plan
Photo: nyker

Spain has approved a new anti-smoking plan that will expand the number of places where smoking is prohibited, implement a sharp increase in tobacco taxes and place vapers in the same category as conventional smokers as “deterrent” measures, according to Eurasia Review.

The document was approved April 5 by the Spanish Health Ministry and will be included in a new legislative package to be formally approved in Parliament.

“As of today [Friday, April 5], this plan is a reality, and this achievement is a source of national pride,” said Health Minister Monica Garcia, a member of the left-wing Sumar platform, a junior partner in Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s coalition government.

The document is an update to the current 14-year-old plan and aims at reducing the number of smokers, protecting public health and preventing new tobacco consumers.

The Plan for the Prevention and Control of Smoking 2024–2027 has five main objectives: preventing the onset of smoking, encouraging smoking cessation and facilitating help to stop smoking, reducing environmental exposure to tobacco emissions and related products in public and private spaces, and promoting applied research and monitoring in tobacco control as well as promoting coordination and the establishment of anti-tobacco alliances.

There is a question of whether in the near future smoking will be banned on bar and restaurant terraces; the leisure and tourism sector accounts for 13 percent of Spain’s national GDP.

The plan includes the “legislative extension of smoke-free and e-cigarette aerosol-free spaces in certain community and social outdoor environments,” but there is no current ban only a “recommendation” not to smoke in these public spaces.

An increase in tobacco taxes is expected. Since 2005, tobacco taxes have increased by 122 percent.

The plan also includes generic or neutral packaging for tobacco products—unattractive color, brand name in Arial typeface and in smaller font size to allow for larger health warnings such as “smoking kills” or “tobacco kills.”

Additives that “give flavors to tobacco and related products (in line with what the EU agrees)” will also be banned under the new plan.