He Ministry of Health will resume the anti-smoking plan that seeks to expand smoke-free spaces. Measure prohibits smoking on the terraces and contemplates regulation of the use of electronic cigarettes (vapers).
In a meeting held with the media, the Minister of Health, Mónica García, declared that You cannot turn your back on the only measure that provides more years and quality of life to people, which is a reduction in smoking. García, who was accompanied by the Secretary of State for Health, Javier Padilla, promised to “take out of the drawer” a plan that has been forgotten for three years.
The document you are referring to is Comprehensive Smoking Prevention and Control Plan 2021-2025, a draft that includes contributions from the National Committee for the Prevention of Smoking (CNPT). The plan, which represents the first update in more than a decade to Law 28/2005, aims to expand smoke-free spaces to beaches, terraces and private cars.
The Ministry of Health He did not specify whether the veto will be applied in all the places contemplated in the draft. García added that they are going to study each case and will talk to all those affected to hear what they have to say about it. “What we plan to do is study what that plan is going to be, if it needs to be expanded, if it needs to be modified, but we do have a firm commitment to those recommendations.”
The Minister of Health mentioned that regulation will be extended to vapers. García said that “nicotine releasers” should be included in the law, since it seeks to protect health and minors. In this sense, electronic cigarettes will be equated to other products tobacco derivatives.
Vapers, in the crosshairs of the Ministry of Health
During the meeting, García emphasized that the objective of the plan is to put health at the center and this includes minors. The Minister of Health wants that the next generations come tobacco-free and to achieve this, strict regulation of vapers is needed.
“We also have a firm commitment to limiting and regulating both new vapers and the new addictions of new generations,” said García. The Ministry of Health added that disposable vapes not only pose a risk to people, but also to the environment. The Secretary of State for Health declared that There is consensus in Europe on the need to ban this type of device.
A WHO report mentions that children who use electronic cigarettes are up to three times more likely to become addicted to tobacco.
“Nicotine is extremely addictive. Electronic nicotine delivery systems are harmful and must be better regulated,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “If not banning them, governments must adopt appropriate policies to protect their populations from the harms caused by electronic nicotine delivery systems and prevent children, adolescents and other vulnerable groups from starting to use them.”
In recent years, Tobacco companies have promoted the marketing of vapes in the younger generations. At the same time, they pressure governments to limit or scrap any measure that threatens the sale of electronic cigarettes. One of the most recent cases occurred in Mexico, where the Supreme Court lifted the restriction arguing that the right to free trade is violated.