Smoking Prices Across Europe

Have you ever thought about quitting smoking if the cost of a pack of cigarettes increased significantly? In Ireland, the price has already reached over 13 euros for a pack of 20 cigarettes, making it the European Union country with the highest prices.

France recently decided to raise the price to 12 euros per pack, and in Great Britain, there’s a plan to increase it from 14 euros to a whopping 23 euros (20 pounds). Spain, on the other hand, maintains a more moderate average price of 4.5 euros per pack.

The Call for Economic Measures

Spanish doctors advocate for economic measures as a key strategy to combat smoking, which remains a persistent habit. According to the Ministry of Health, 23% of the Spanish population aged 15 and above smoke daily, 2.4% are occasional smokers, and 25.7% are ex-smokers.

The Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (SemFYC) estimates that increasing the price of cigarette packs could lead to a 10 to 15% reduction in smoking.

Aligning with the Ministry of Health’s efforts, the Spanish Medical Association (OMC) proposes a comprehensive plan with 20 measures to control smoking and enhance its regulation in Spain.

Proposed Measures for Smoking Control

Alongside raising taxes, the OMC suggests measures such as requiring generic packaging for all tobacco products, prohibiting added flavors to tobacco, and restricting smoking in shared public spaces like restaurant terraces and beaches.

The proposed bill also addresses environmental concerns, suggesting penalties for littering cigarette butts and urging the tobacco industry to cover waste collection costs.

A Greenpeace report highlights the environmental impact of tobacco combustion, generating 100 toxic substances that persist in cigarette butts for a decade, contaminating water sources.

Health Measures and Future Generations

The OMC’s roadmap includes health-focused measures like appointing smoking control leaders in health centers, incorporating approved drugs for smoking cessation in the National Health System’s portfolio, and enforcing measures to create tobacco-free generations.

There’s even a proposal to set a birthdate after which the sale of tobacco becomes prohibited for life.

The Grim Reality of Tobacco

Tobacco is a significant health hazard, contributing to 33% of tumors and 22% of cancer deaths. It is the leading cause of 85-90% of lung cancers and poses a risk for various other tumors.

Shockingly, tobacco claims the lives of half of its users, causing over 8 million deaths annually worldwide.

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