Why is not the use and sale of tobacco prohibited?

It is known thanks to innumerable scientific studies that tobacco kills; but that not only causes a high mortality every year, but also causes a series of really negative effects on the health not only of the person who smokes, but also those around them (those called as passive smokers).

And is that while each year more than 53,000 smokers die in Spain, it is estimated that every 10 minutes a person dies in our country as a result of tobacco consumption.

The consequences of smoking in smokers are more than obvious: it seriously affects the entire body, from the respiratory system to the digestive system, passing through the circulatory system and the genital system itself (affecting the fertility of both men as of the woman).

But in the case of passive smokers, the consequences can be even worse, since the smoke inhaled by the non-smoker contains more toxins and carcinogenic substances than the smoke that the smoker inhales. In fact, 15% of the smoke that the cigarette gives off is inhaled by the person who smokes, while 85% is dispersed in the air.

The question is more than obvious: why, then, does not prohibit both the sale and consumption of tobacco in our country? The answer seems to be even clearer, although we prefer to leave it for later.

They present the first lawsuit against the Spanish state for "passivity and neglect"

Today we have learned that a Sevillian lawyer will present a complaint against the Spanish health authorities, due to its "negligence" and "passivity" in the control of tobacco, precisely for allowing both the presence and the commercialization of highly toxic products in cigarettes.

All this in the name of a 55-year-old man, resident in Palma de Mallorca and suffering from cancer, who has lost his speech due to a disease that doctors accredit is directly related to tobacco.

In his complaint, the lawyer Fernando Osuna states that the Spanish health authorities are responsible for tobacco control, because their passivity and negligence have not prevented the introduction of addictive and harmful substances in cigarettes.

Or, to put it another way: the Spanish health authorities really care little about the health of their citizens.

Why is not tobacco banned in Spain?

Before answering this question, we must repeat some basic questions that, although alarming, would only come to question us even more why the Spanish State does not prohibit the sale and consumption of tobacco:

  • In Spain, every year more than 53,000 smokers die.
  • In Europe, smoking causes 1.2 million deaths each year.
  • It is directly related to the appearance of 29 diseases: 10 types of cancer and more than 50% of cardiovascular diseases.
  • The smoke that emits a lit cigarette contains more than 4,000 different substances. Of them, more than 300 are carcinogenic.
  • Our body takes 70 years to eliminate cadmium, a heavy metal present in the cigarette.
  • The cigarette smoke that the smoker does not inhale contains carcinogenic substances 100 times higher than the one that inhales.

At this point, and knowing some less alarming elements and statistics, it is difficult for us to think about how the Spanish health authorities do not fight for the prohibition of tobacco consumption (as it does for other illegal drugs).

The question is clear: why not? The answer must be found in the income that the Spanish State obtains from the commercialization of tobacco. In fact, around 80% of the price of tobacco corresponds to taxes.

To put just one simple example, the collection derived from the special taxes was in 2011 of 7,260 million euros. To this figure we must add the income derived from VAT: 1,697 million euros. Total: 8,957 million euros collected.

Probably the answer to the question that heads this note has already been given.

Be that as it may, currently all experts agree that the control of the tobacco epidemic is only possible through a comprehensive action on the demand for tobacco, and not actually on the offer (ie, that is prohibited).

The most reasonable position is found as in most cases at an intermediate point: neither total permissiveness (as it happens today with the different substances that can be found in tobacco) nor total prohibition. That is, there is a much stricter regulation from the perspective of public health in all its areas: from production to sales, through distribution, advertising, promotion and consumption.

Image | incurable_hippie This article is published for informational purposes only.It can not and should not replace the consultation with a Physician. We advise you to consult your Trusted Doctor. ThemesCancer

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