Several Spanish associations, sheltered by the European Network for the Prevention of Smoking, presented today in the European Parliament the so-called "Declaration of Madrid", which proposes measures to limit the active and passive consumption of cigarettes in Spain, where tobacco causes 50,000 deaths per year .
"We are here because the main public health problem for Spain and for Europe is tobacco," said the president of the Spanish Medical Association (WTO), Serafin Romero, in a presentation organized in the premises of the European Parliament and sponsored by the Member of UPyD Maite Pagazaurtundua.
The aforementioned statement, presented in Madrid last July and whose authors want it to apply in Spain and serve as a model in other European Union countries, highlights the successes achieved in the fight against tobacco, with a fall in the rate of smokers of 32% before the anti-smoking law of 2010 to 22.1% of the news, according to data of the same.
But it warns of the danger of stalling efforts to eradicate nicotine addiction and its associated risks, especially in the most disadvantaged households.
"They are ahead of us," commented the president of the European Network for the Prevention of Smoking, Francisco Rodriguez-Lozano.
He pointed out that the Spanish law of 2010 was a pioneer but that currently there are EU countries such as France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Slovenia or Romania that have approved more ambitious measures, such as forcing the packs of cigarettes to be "neutral" and not show the brand.
And among the complementary initiatives proposed by this "road map" to contain smoking, the attention to new products such as electronic cigarettes or vaporizers stands out, an upward phenomenon that they want to avoid being "normalized".
Young people "do not have smoke-filled discos in their retina", but those devices that sell tobacco to replace the fall of sales of traditional cigarettes are "flooding the classroom" in the United States, warned the president of the National Committee for the Prevention of Smoking, Regina Dalmau.
"We have to regulate it before it is a new problem," added the cardiologist in a debate that included representatives of civil society, medical associations, the Ministry of Health, the Spanish Representation to the EU, MEPs and Spanish national deputies.
In this sense, they ask that the taxation of all products containing nicotine be equated to the increase, while pointing out that a significant increase in the price of cigarettes favors the reduction of their consumption.
The professor of Pharmacology at the University of Cantabria Javier Ayesta explained that the rise should be "a minimum 20%" for its effect to be noticed, and cited as an example France, where there are a million fewer smokers since the pack was It sells with standard package and at a price of 8 euros whereas in Spain it does not reach 5 euros.
Other measures promoted by the Madrid Declaration include requiring compliance with current legislation regarding closed or semi-enclosed public spaces, prohibiting smoking in any type of vehicle, promoting smoke-free homes, facilitating and financing access to professionals and treatments. health and extend the regulations on tobacco and advertising to new products.
"It is the first public health problem in Spain due to mortality," said Araceli Arce, general deputy director of Health Promotion of the Ministry of Health.