Spain's anti-smoking record 'among worst in EU'

18th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

18 October 2004, MADRID- Spain and Germany are among worst countries in Europe for combating smoking, according to a study published Monday.

18 October 2004

MADRID- Spain and Germany are among worst countries in Europe for combating smoking, according to a study published Monday.

The study, organised by the European Network Against Smoking, found the best countries were Britain and Iceland.

All of the 25 EU countries were classified according to six measures in the fight against smoking, recommended by the World Bank.

Taxes against cigarettes, smoke-free public places and offices, anti-smoking campaigns, warnings against smoking on packets, access to help in stopping smoking, and state budgets to fund projects to stop people smoking were the six factors used by the study.

Luxembourg and the Czech Republic came bottom of the list in terms of the low price of cigarettes. But Spain and Germany were also on the 'list of shame' in this respect.

In contrast, Iceland and the UK both have highly priced cigarettes; in the UK a packet costs EUR 6.60 while in Luxemburg, they cost EUR 2.90.

The study says despite progress in reducing the number of smokers – particularly among men- there is still a lot of work to be done.

"There is an urgent need to raise the investment in programmes to combat smoking," said Luk Joossens, study coordinator.

"One in every two smokers will die from smoking-related diseases."

The report says the EU should invest EUR 0.80-2.40 per person each year on anti-smoking measures.

But it said in the EU, only the UK spends more than one euro per capita to combat smoking.

Medical campaigns, education programmes, telephone help lines and restrictions on smoking in public areas are all measures which could help, said the report.

The Spanish government is planning to bring in measures next year to force companies to provide nons-smoking areas in offices and restaurants.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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