¿Por qué nosotros no? Acción Ciudadana por la Salud y el cambio de la Ley Española de Tabaco


PUBLIC HEALTH is a basic right that the vast majority of Spaniards view as a priority. Without pubic health, it would be impossible to enjoy life or the people we care about.

12 smoke-free months, 12 substantial reasons

to maintain the smoke-free law

Tobacco smoke is an environmental carcinogen which has no safe level of exposure. Even a very small amount is dangerous. Science has proven that tobacco smoke causes many sicknesses like lung cancer, even in people who never smoked. There are many reasons to strengthen the current smoke-free law and its enforcement, but there are none to reverse or weaken it. Here are twelve reasons:

1. The citizens of Spain have complied with and supported the smoke-free law 42/2010, both smokers and non-smokers alike.

2. Air quality in the hospitality industry has improved 90%. The average indoor contamination in hospitality businesses, measured by dangerous particulate matter (PM 2.5) has decreased from 233.3 µg/m³ before the law to 23.3 µg/m³ after the law. Now, it’s almost to the same level as outside air, which in Madrid was 19.13 µg/m³ in 2010.

3. The smoke-free law is working and its impact in the decrease of tobacco consumption is evident. In 2011, 500 million less cartons of tobacco were sold . Less tobacco means better public health. .

4. Smokers support the law. There is a general satisfaction about its advantages and benefits, including among the smoking population, considering that 70% of them want to quit smoking.

5. More than 600,000 smokers quit for good in 2011. The smoke-free law will help millions of smokers quit without relapsing in the next few years.

6. Youth will start using tobacco less and later, since tobacco use in public places is no longer a norm. Youth are actually the most convinced as four out of five of them are extremely defensive of the smoke-free law.

7. Hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction have decreased more than 10% and childhood asthma admissions have reduced 15% in 2011 because people are no longer are exposed to secondhand smoke in public places. At the same time, the law has provoked a reduction of secondhand smoke exposure in the home, because of the health benefits that smoke-free places have.

8. In this time of financial crisis, this public health law gives us economic benefits through healthcare cost savings. Furthermore, the money that smokers once spent on cigarettes is now being spent on the consumption of other products and services that generate employment and benefit the common good.

9. The law has not had a negative impact on the hospitality industry or the tourism industry, which increased 7% in 2011. Economic activity and revenues were not affected more than in other sectors . Exactly 21,459 bars and restaurants and 5,313 hotels signed up for social security from October 2010 to October 2011. It’s time to stop using the smoke-free law as an easy excuse for the difficulties faced by some sectors of employment that the entire world is facing. PUBLIC HEALTH CANNOT BE NEGOTIATED. Spanish hospitality business owners have given an example of professionalism and civic responsibility by supporting both public health and the quality of their services through the compliance with this law.

10. The Spanish smoke-free law is a global model that is recognized and used as an example for laws in other countries. During 2011, the World Health Organization recognized the Spanish law and countries like Chile, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Brazil have used it as a reference in the regulation of their smoke-free spaces. More will do the same in 2012.

11. Doctors, pharmacists, psychologists, nurses, and all of the healthcare industry in its entirety, along with the 260 organizations that represent healthcare workers and other businesses that are working with the initiative PORQUE NOSOTROS SÍ will join together once again to defend the successes brought by this law. We know that weakening the law would provoke a decrease in its effectiveness and public health benefit, first affecting the hospitality workers, but then our youth, pregnant women, patients and others that would watch their state of health worsen

12. No one – smokers, non-smokers, nor the rest of the world who has looked to us as an example - would understand us taking a step back on this public health win after the law took effect in Spain in 2011. The fight of the people and the public opinion will be the major opponents in any attempt to weaken the law.

These are twelve of the many reasons to not weaken the law that has already done so much good for the Spanish community. Even with these accomplishments, we are stil not able to control the epidemic caused by tobacco in Spain. More than 25% of Spanish people are addicted to tobacco and many of them are nowhere near quitting. Places like Canada, California, Australia, New Zealand or Sweden that have already had a smoke-free law in place for some time have a smoking population of less than 15%. We must work for other smoke-free places, such as in cars where there are children present, in stadiums, on beaches, etc., along with other financial measures, proper labeling of tobacco products, assistance to smokers to forget their addiction or professional training. We need to stand firm against the cryptic marketing strategies of the tobacco industry, the main entity that gets smokers addicted in the first place. Will need to continue to work to reduce the devastating impact that tobacco consumption has on our country.

The grassroots movement PORQUE NOSOTROS SÍ! and the other health, public, and private organizations that support these facts are ready to continue down this path, hand-in-hand with the government, to maintain the smoke-free law.

Position Statement of the grassroots movement PORQUÉ NOSOTROS SÍ !


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