Tobacco products will be more expensive, there will be more smoke-free areas, as well as outdoors, and EU countries will be encouraged to deepen anti-smoking education and treatment of smoking. The European Commission has such plans for the coming years, although everything must be agreed by the EU member states.
Tobacco smoke is the biggest cause of illness
As a reminder: Tobacco smoke is the best documented cause of illness by far. Annually, more than 8 million people die from smoking in the world. We know that tobacco smoke contains more than 7000 chemicals found in one cigarette, more than 70 of which are highly carcinogenic.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies these substances to Group 1 of carcinogens, meaning substances that are undoubtedly carcinogenic to humans – says Dr. M. Skłodowskiej-Curie.
It seems that traditional cigarettes that have been replaced by new tobacco products are slowly becoming an obsolete problem. Nevertheless, traditional cigarettes are still very popular – more than a quarter of adult Poles use them daily. Research from the National Institute of Public Health from 2018 shows that more than 70 percent. Adolescents aged 16-18 had no contact with various tobacco products: up to 20% of them buy e-cigarettes. Boys and 19 per cent. girls. These percentages are higher than in other European countries, which is alarming because, unlike advertisements, it is not a healthy alternative to cigarettes, and hot smoke is often a precursor to conventional use.
Federation policy on cigarettes
The changes announced are evolutionary, because tobacco control policy is as old as the change in the political system in Poland: the European Council took the first steps in 1989, adopting a systematic directive on the rules for the supply of tobacco products. Then there was more.
Among the last documents, you should pay attention to four documents that regulate the situation of the tobacco market in the European Union:
- Tobacco Advertising Directive 2003;
- Tax and Excise Tax Guidelines 2011;
- No Smoking Board Recommendation 2009;
- Tobacco Products Directive 2014.
Recently, there have been changes that non-smokers may not notice, such as the removal of menthol from the cigarette market last year, cut tobacco, which is used to wrap cigarettes, as well as products with menthol flavor.
– We must know that menthol encourages the initiation of young smokers and increases the negative effect of tobacco smoke on the lungs. These products are especially popular with young women because they facilitate the start of this tragic cigarette adventure — notes Dr. Magdalena Sedzynica, chief of the Smoker Aid Clinic at the National Oncology Institute. Skłodowskiej-Curie – National Research Institute.
In addition to menthol, the candy and vanilla flavors that were appealing to children have also been eliminated—currently, they are banned in products such as cigarettes and rolling tobacco. After that, the ban should extend to e-cigarettes as well.
According to experts, e-cigarettes should be treated as a continuation of nicotine products, because if children start their “adventure” with electronic cigarettes, they double the risks of using conventional cigarettes.
Nicotine is found in both traditional cigarettes and electronic cigarettes or products that heat tobacco. Nicotine is addictive. When addiction occurs, the subsequent choice of product does not matter much – we will get to it anyway. Obviously, people will experiment with different types of nicotine-containing products in search of the one that satisfies them most, so we can never consider e-cigarettes as an alternative. It is a dangerous and addictive product like traditional cigarettes and is the only way to treat it – Dr. Cedzyńska believes.
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