THE SPANISH LAW- A MODEL FOR EUROPE?
Nick Schneider, Human Rights and Tobacco Control Network (HRTCN)
Summary and presentation available from the author.
DIFFUSION OF THE “SPANISH MODEL” IN THE AMERICAS
Ernesto Sebrié, Roswell Park Institute
Significant progress has been achieved in the implementation of smokefree policies among Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) countries since the adoption of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in February 2005. In 2006, Uruguay was the first country to implement 100% smokefree policy at the national level, followed by Panama (2008), Guatemala (2008), Colombia (2009), Trinidad & Tobago (2009), Honduras (2010), Barbados (2010), Peru (2010), Venezuela (2011), and Ecuador (2011). Also, implementation of national laws is pending in Argentina (2011), Brazil (2011), and Costa Rica (2012). In addition, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil have advanced implementing comprehensive smoke-free policies in sub-national (state, provincial and municipal) jurisdictions. Both national and sub-national legislation have provided effective mechanisms to increase the percentage of the population protected from secondhand tobacco smoke. Civil society has actively promoted these policies and played a main role in enacting them and monitoring their enforcement.
Tobacco companies’ opposition to effective smoke-free policies at all three governmental branches (e.g., legislative, executive, and judicial) continues to be the primary obstacle to progress. Industry strategies include lobbying the executive authorities, blocking regulations of the law and even promoting a presidential veto, litigation in the courts, as well as seeking amendments and preemption in the congress after the law passes.
One of the main strategies that the tobacco industry has been using is the promotion of the so-called “Spanish model” (Law 28/2005) as an alternative to 100% smoke-free legislation. In 2006, shortly after Uruguay became the first 100% smoke-free country in the region, the tobacco industry conducted an advertising campaign that unsuccessfully sought to overturn the adoption of the policy. However, following the “Spanish model”, Chile (2006), Peru (2006, later changed), Bolivia (2007), Mexico (2008), Nicaragua (2010), and El Salvador (2011), as well as several sub-national jurisdictions in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, adopted ineffective legislation that mirrors tobacco industry’s accommodation programme. These laws are characterized by the inclusion of one or more of the following exceptions: smoking designated areas (completed isolated or not), use of ventilation and/or air filtration systems, smoking venues exclusive for adults, owners’ authority to voluntary choose whether to become smoke-free or not.SLIDES
THE “SPANISH MODEL”: A WORLDWIDE THREATEN FOR ARTICLE 8 OF THE WHO FCTC
Laura Salgado, Framework Convention Alliance
The smoke-free movement has come a long way since negotiation on the FCTC began. Ten years ago it was hard to imagine whole countries going smoke-free. Now around 20 countries have implemented comprehensive national policies and more 12 have local regulations that protect citizens. In every country the tobacco industry has been active in a variety of schemes to impact public health policy.
The importance of smoke-free policies are not lost on the Big tobacco who are leading many countries, especially those with precarious and fragile administrative structures, to promote the exceptions allowed by the called “Spanish model”. The tobacco industry and its allies with direct and indirect pressure influence public policy or attempt to force to back down.
The FCA strategic to face the influence of the “Spanish model” has been to improve coordination and planning of regional action. The collaboration between governments and civil society has been shown to result in strong tobacco control measures at the national and regional levels. As an example, in 2010 FCA joined a coalition of national and international tobacco control and public health experts to urged the Spanish Parliament to pass legislation to make all enclosed public places in Spain completely smoke-free.
Other strategies: develop a regional resource center, international campaign letters, press conferences, indoor air contamination levels monitoring, workshops and webinars, production of materials to educate policy makers, media and public.
Seven years have passed since the FCTC came into force, and much has been accomplished. But we are still in the early stages; there is still work to do. We applause the Government of Spain who enacted its legislation amended its law removing all exceptions for hospitality venues; and urge to take greater action to eradicate this entirely preventable epidemic.