Spanish Tobacco Control Organization Calls on Government to Set Smoke-Free Goals

According to an official announcement from Spain’s National Tobacco Control Commission (CNPT), the CNPT is calling on all the political parties that participated in these elections and the new government to support the urgent and necessary measures to clamp down on tobacco criminalization.

In a manifesto addressed to all political parties, the CNPT demanded that the new government should approve a comprehensive smoking prevention and control program (PIT) within its first 100 days in office, thus achieving the goal of a smoke-free society by 2030. At this stage, Spain’s smoking rate is close to 20%, and the manifesto aims to reduce it to 5%.

This program was unanimously endorsed by the medical community, but was abruptly shelved in the current government’s legislation.The CNPT believes that the PIT should also be the basis for updating the tobacco law, and that the new government should push for this as well.

The main measures proposed by the CNPT include, among others:

Doubling the price of cigarettes;
Implementing neutral packaging, which is already in effect in nearly 20 countries;
Treating e-cigarettes (with and without nicotine) as equal to traditional cigarettes in many ways;
Expanding the scope of smoke-free areas, which include beaches, swimming pools, public and private transportation, areas around schools, parks and hospitals, sports venues, and busy commercial neighborhoods;
Reducing the number of tobacco stores by half and eliminating the possibility of selling tobacco and new forms of tobacco products from vending machines in places such as hotels, gas stations and convenience stores;
Establishing regulation in audio visual productions and stage performances to prohibit tobacco scenes and address potential advertising through social media influencers;
Improve assistance to smokers by providing safe and effective treatment measures.

The CNPT reminds people that the medical overhead caused by smoking is three times the €9 billion annual tax revenue from tobacco. On top of that, the survey data shows that efforts to protect children and adolescents from tobacco environments have not progressed.

The CNPT also said that Spain still has one of the highest smoking rates in the EU – nearly 20% of the Spanish population aged 15 and over smoke daily – and the lowest prices for tobacco products.

On top of that, new tobacco and nicotine products have a particular impact on young people, as “in more than 60% of cases, people end up using both e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes.”

Twenty years ago, Spain committed itself to working to eliminate the effects of tobacco by joining the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).According to the CNPT, the 2005 law and the 2010 amendments “made our country a European pioneer, but the current regulations are outdated.”

It is understood that the Spanish National Tobacco Control Commission (CNPT), the organization of the Spanish tobacco control movement, is at this stage composed of 47 organizations, most notably associations of medical professionals, patients and social groups focused on the prevention of smoking.