More shadows than lights in the smoke-free laws

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On July 5, one hundred participants and twenty speakers from different countries met at this International Symposium, jointly organized by the ICO and the WHO. This first Symposium was devoted to analyzing the experience of Spain and other countries that have implemented partial smoke-free laws or that have suffered regressive processes by the establishment of exceptions to laws initially complete.

In the opening conference, Dr. Kristina Mauer-Stenden, from the WHO-EURO Office, presented the current state of the tobacco epidemic in the European region and the current development of smoke-free legislation according to the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control.

The speakers reviewed the lights and shadows (actually more shadows than lights) in the current development of the smoke-free laws, with examples of not achieved laws in Poland and Portugal, and regression in the Netherlands.

In the closing conference, Dr. Armando Peruga (WHO Tobacco Free Initiative) characterized the old “Spanish model” as one of the clearest examples of interference from the tobacco industry in developing the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control.

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