Andres Zamorano, President of the National Committee for the Prevention of Smoking (CNPT).
The legislative power of the present government of Spain is beginning to enter its final stage and A comprehensive plan for the prevention and control of smoking, which the health department promised to approve before the next chief executive change, remains paralyzed. It has been nine months since the scientific societies presented the allegations in the project and those presented through National Committee for the Prevention of Smoking (CNPT)have started to lose hope following recent statements by the Minister of Health Carolina Darias.
The health portfolio leader assured this week during his visit to the Ernest Lluch Foundation in Vilasar de Mar (Barcelona) that they are still working “on series of modifications’ in the project from the Plan, which is why it has not been finally approved. In this sense, Darias assured that he will refer the plan to the Public Health Commission when he is “in a position to present it”.
Far from being encouraging, these statements backfired in the medical community. “It’s insulting that I say that without giving more details. It surprises us after eight months of silence and we believe it is lost all credibility. We insisted on seeing when it was published and suddenly it took advantage of a forum to release propaganda. I don’t think it’s true, but I hope I’m wrong,” condemned Andres Zamorano, president of the CNPT.
In addition, the doctor believes that could give more details in this intervention or throughout the week after the reactions obtained. “He could have given a deadline, but he said some requirements were missing. If there was transparency, this day or the next, I would say whether the document is in the treasury or in the presidency and I would give an approximate time.
There is no certainty that the anti-smoking plan will go ahead
The organization, which unites 46 medical societies, according to its president, “insisted” Health to understand what is happening with this plan and why “stuck in a drawer” “We have already made the charges from all the companies and the technicians from the ministry have also worked on the project. The plan has already been made since December, we have nine months late“, they claim.
For all these reasons, CNPT assures that they have “lost confidence in the minister” and compare their attitude with that of their predecessors. “Salvador Ila was also catapulted into Catalan politics, but he visited us twice, both in person and virtually. María Luisa Carcedo also visited us. However, Darius he never accepted us and we’re not sure he had meetings with the tobacco industry,” Zamorano claimed.
In this sense, the CNPT believes that the intentions of the minister’s political career collide with the Plan. “We believe that if your political destiny is the Canary Islands it is very likely that the plan will not be carried out because there the tobacco industry and tobacco have a lot of weight. It is a very sensitive subject there, it is cheaper, it is sold in many places and tourists buy a lot of tobacco there to take away. I don’t think Darias will do anything. After eight months of silence he speaks to say that there is little left and I think it is a bluff.
Catalonia acts in the face of healthcare inaction
Given the lack of initiative from the Ministry of Health, the Generalitat of Catalonia has taken a step forward and created new regulations for conversion terraces, entrances and exits of schools and bus stops in “spaces no smoke”.
“We are preparing an ordinance that leaves smoke-free spaces like the entrances and exits of schools, it seems not, but there when we wait for the creatures that we smoke many times; the terraces,” said the Minister of Health of the Government of Catalonia, Josep Maria Argimon.
Furthermore, Argymon has explained that there must be a “Transitional period” and that the measure responds to the stagnation in the reduction of smokers which since 2017 has remained stable for him 23 and 24 percent smokers compared to the general population.
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