Socialists want E-cigs and heated tobacco to be included in new smoking law as ‘alternatives’

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 04-05-2017 14:28:00 · 0 Comments

Portugal’s PS Socialist party wants “non-combustible alternatives” to standard smoking products, such as the new heated tobacco or electronic cigarettes, to be included in changes to the current smoking law which regulates the prevention and reduction of risks of the habit.

“The new products must be considered in the prevention. Smokers should know that there are alternatives”, Socialist MP, Maria Antónia Almeida Santos, said following a meeting of the parliamentary work group on tobacco.
She added, the modern alternatives “could be another possibility for those who cannot stop smoking.”
However, the new products like heated tobacco or electronic cigarettes have been criticised by healthcare associations, which say there is no independent scientific proof that these products are less harmful.
“There is proof in the reduction of harmfulness compared with traditional cigarettes. Of that there is proof”, the MP argued, adding that “stopping smoking may involve other options” apart from just smoking or not smoking.

The government has presented parliament with a draft to alter the tobacco law, which would basically view new tobacco products and traditional tobacco as the same.
It also prohibits smoking near buildings such as hospitals and schools.
The decision to consider new tobacco products the same as traditional cigarettes (for example, regarding where they can be smoked)was made following discussions within the MP work group, but they are not prohibited near hospitals or schools as long as they are smoked outdoors (except near kindergartens).
A discussion and vote on the proposed alterations including the changes championed by the Socialists following the Communist’s proposals, has been postponed until 10 May.
The Communists suggest that the law includes the prohibition or any discrimination against smokers in terms of employment, and that occupational health services “should run smoking prevention and control campaigns in the workplace”, and “begin treatment to stop smoking or refer smokers to their family doctor or consultations to stop smoking”.
The Communists also propose creating a “network of intensive support to stop smoking in all health centre groups” and “set up consultations in Portuguese NHS hospitals that respond to the patients’ requirements”, with medication to help stop smoking being progressively co-paid until it is completely free.


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