Madrid (EFE).- The Madrid College of Physicians (Icomem) has received the support of fourteen other institutions related to the fight against tobacco use to work together and lay the foundations to ban tobacco use by 2027 in the streets and public areas of the Community of Madrid.
On World No Tobacco Day, this Wednesday, Icomem has hosted a meeting at its headquarters with these institutions and patient associations in which they have presented the manifesto “Madrid without Tobacco”, a message that is part of the institutional campaign in which the College of Physicians has been working for several years, the institution specifies in a press release.
“Smoking is the main preventable cause of disease and premature death in the world and in the Community of Madrid,” says the manifesto, which indicates that “half of the population (of the region) from 18 to 64 years old has smoked tobacco on a regular basis and a quarter continue to do so. Even at the ages of 15 to 16, a quarter of the youth population smokes or has smoked regularly.
The proposal of the doctors and the other institutions is to “progressively prohibit the consumption of tobacco in public places in the Community of Madrid, including the street”, as is already done in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Singapore or in the Milan region.
These professionals propose “starting with areas close to schools, parks and sports venues, bus stops and expanding until a total ban on tobacco use in public places is achieved in 2027”.
“We understand that this proposal requires political will and legislative and regulatory changes. But we know that the benefit obtained in terms of health and well-being would be enormous, so we encourage the administrations and political forces to carry it out ”, he points out in the “Madrid without Tobacco” manifesto.
The president of Icomem, Manuel Martínez-Selles, has expressed the need for “tobacco to be seen for what it is, an addiction with serious health consequences”, which motivates doctors to “request measures to eliminate the tobacco consumption in its streets and public areas in 2027 throughout the Community of Madrid”.
Concern about the growing consumption of tobacco in young people
The coordinator of the working group on smoking in Neumomadrid, Rosa Mirambeaux, has expressed her concern about the “increasing consumption, especially among young people, of e-cigarettes and other electronic devices, which are harmful to health”, at the same time that she has asked that “they are considered as tobacco products and thus comply with current legislation regarding their consumption, sale and advertising of tobacco.”
The psychologist from the Specialized Smoking Unit of the Community of Madrid, María Isabel Cristóbal, has called for “advancing towards a law on sanitary measures against smoking that extends the ban on smoking in public spaces, regulates labeling conditions and increases the price of cigarettes.
The head of prevention at the Spanish Association Against Cancer in Madrid, Estibaliz García, explained that “tobacco is the second psychoactive substance with the highest prevalence of consumption among students aged 14 to 18” and that “9 out of 10 young people (91.3%) have been exposed to a form of smoke inhalation, via social media or platforms, in the last thirty days”, for which he considers that “the strategy of the tobacco industry is clear: young people ”.
The College of Physicians will create a working group to ensure that with the rest of the institutions they will follow “a set plan, milestones and a calendar” for the eradication of tobacco in Madrid.