The cost of smoking in Spain is considerably less than in many other EU countries. Experts are recommending, among other things, a large increase in the price of cigarettes and other smoking-related items.
The price of cigarettes in Spain is currently at around 23 cents per cigarette, or €4.60 per packet. This is cheaper than in 13 of the 27 EU countries.
In fact, the French have been flocking over the border to buy cigarettes at the half the price they can in their own country.
To counteract the rise in smoking, the Spanish Society of Pulmonary and Thoracic Surgery (SEPAR) has presented a number of recommendations to the Spanish government. The aim is to reduce tobacco consumption by 34%.
Steep increase in price
SEPAR recommends a rise in the cost of cigarettes and other related smoking items. For example, they would like to see an increase in the cost of rolling tobacco, water pipes and e-cigarettes.
It is hoped a significant price hike will deter people from smoking.
Ban on smoking in public places
When indoor smoking in Spain was banned, the number of smokers dropped considerably. The specialists would like to see this replicated with a ban on smoking in all public places.
The government is already considering a ban on smoking on outdoor terraces. SEPAR wants the “prohibition of tobacco consumption in open public spaces” to also include beaches and sports stadiums.
Change in packaging and advertising
Another recommendation is a change in packaging such as in place in Australia and New Zealand. There, packaging is generic with no logos or images. This approach, SEPAR said, has resulted in “fewer sales and lower rates of smoking in the countries that implemented it”.
SEPAR also recommend stricter regulations around the advertising of e-cigarettes and other smoking methods. They believe all smoking should be treated with the same restrictions.
Health care for quitters
Finally, SEPAR recommends the Ministry of Health provide dedicated cessation units for those looking to quit.
Every year in Spain, 60,000 people die of smoke-related health issues. Incorporating the above recommendations will, SEPAR believes, help reduce smoking in Spain.