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A Spanish Declaration

170 Spanish and international experts have signed a joint declaration supporting vaping for a smoke-free Spain

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170 Spanish and international experts have signed a joint declaration supporting vaping for a smoke-free Spain. The country holds outspoken and well-funded tobacco control bodies that actively oppose vaping and tobacco harm reduction, but the experts say the data demonstrates they are failing the nation.

The headline figure is that despite the efforts of the tobacco control lobby, around one third of adults still use tobacco on a daily basis. This fact means that Spain runs with a far higher smoking rate than the European Union average and has a low adoption rate of safer alternatives to tobacco.

In their letter supporting the declaration, the harm reduction experts say: “Smoke-free products (vaping, nicotine pouches, heated tobacco products etc.) will drive out cigarettes and make major health improvements among those who switch or are diverted from smoking.”

The text of the letter “Less Harm: International Declaration for a Smoke-free Spain” states: “The signatories of this declaration are public health experts and social-health professionals committed to the fight against smoking, to which doctors and scientists from Spain and 38 other countries have adhered, whose common objective is to reduce the number of smokers.”

Clive Bates’ 2-minute video summary of the case for tobacco harm reduction

It continues: “In Spain, smoking policies have been focused solely on prevention and cessation. However, these measures alone are not enough as they fail to reduce smoking rates or bring them out of stagnation, as the most recent data show. According to the latest EDADES 2019/2020 survey, Spain today has the same smoking rates, 32.3% of the population between 15 and 64 years of age, as in 2005, 32.8%, just before the approval of what is known as the first anti-smoking law.

“On the other hand, we would like to point out that many countries recognized for their anti-smoking policies, such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, France, and the United States, have responded to the exhaustion of traditional policies with innovative approaches that, on the one hand, take into account the current behaviour of smokers, new forms of consumption and the most advanced science and, on the other, seek to provide pragmatic solutions to the thousands of smokers who are unable or unwilling to quit smoking.

“For this reason, we believe that the Spanish authorities have a golden opportunity to apply new measures in the fight against the diseases caused by smoking that are giving significant results in those countries where they are already being applied.

“For this reason, and with the aim of contributing to a more effective and rapid reduction in the number of smokers in Spain, we present “Less Harm: International Declaration for a Smoke-free Spain“, which includes a series of proposals for a comprehensive approach in the fight against smoking that takes into account the society and the reality of the 21st century.”

The letter lists eight key solutions:

  1. Anti-smoking policies must offer realistic solutions for smokers
  2. Harm reduction as a complementary tool for advancing the fight against smoking
  3. Scientific advances, not opinions, must be the cornerstone of the fight against smoking
  4. More training for health professionals and more information for smokers
  5. Harm reduction products need differentiated treatment and regulation
  6. More restrictions on combustible tobacco products
  7. Learn from the experience of other countries in the fight against smoking
  8. Promoting research on these products through public-private sector collaboration
Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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