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Health sector allocates 117 thousand million pesos a year to treat smoking

▲ Tobacco addiction causes three times more deaths than alcohol consumption and 18 times more than illicit drug use.Photo Francisco Olvera

Angeles Cruz Martinez

Newspaper La Jornada
Tuesday, May 31, 2022, p. eleven

Mexico spends 117 billion pesos a year for the care of diseases associated with smoking, as well as 160 billion for indirect costs, according to estimates from the National Institute of Public Health (INSP) commented yesterday at a conference on the occasion of the World Day Without Tobacco (May 31) and where the Undersecretary of Prevention and Health Promotion, Hugo López-Gatell, reported that the country will maintain the ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes, vapers and heated tobacco devices.

Erick Antonio Ochoa, director of Salud Justa, highlighted that smoking causes three times more deaths than alcohol consumption and 18 times more than the use of illicit drugs. Hence the importance of the national policy aimed at eliminating the consumption of tobacco products.

During the conference, the 17th Evaluation of Civil Society on Public Policies for Tobacco Control was presented, where López-Gatell said that the government is working on the design of the legal framework to maintain the prohibition of the sale of electronic nicotine administration systems. (BE).

He recognized that although the increase in taxes is the most effective measure to discourage tobacco consumption, the adoption of measures in this regard is not foreseen. Instead, he said, progress will be made in the application of the generic packaging of cigarette packs, as well as the updating of the Regulations of the General Law for Tobacco Control, with the aim of making effective the recent reform that establishes spaces 100 percent free of tobacco smoke and the prohibition of all types of advertising of this type of product.

The project of the new regulation is already in the consultation period in the National Commission for Regulatory Improvement. He explained that, among other provisions, it makes it easier for companies to identify what they should not do to comply with smoke-free environments.

Regarding SEAN, the official explained that the ban is a measure recommended by the World Health Organization’s Framework Agreement for Tobacco Control, since it is at the highest level of control of products that are harmful to the health of people, since these devices are far from being a tool to help individuals quit smoking, as the tobacco industry argues, he said.

A first step was the reform of the Law to prohibit the import and export of these goods, which responds to the decision to have a harmonious general policy. That is, it seeks to inhibit supply, spaces for consumption with smoke-free environments, which results in a decrease in demand.

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