The Ministry of Health will give the green light this Friday in the plenary session of the Interterritorial Council of the SNS to the Comprehensive Plan for Prevention and Control of Smoking (PIT) 2024-2027 although not all the Autonomous Communities adhere to it, although it called the last two meetings of the Public Health Commission to seek a “consensus”, as sources close to the Ministry have informed Europa Press.

In line with what the Minister of Health, Mónica García, has been saying in recent weeks, these same sources have assured that the Plan will soon be reflected “in a law.” However, the CCAA that want to establish some of the measures in the document before state regulations are developed will be able to do so because “they will have an endorsement.”

Thus, the sources have reiterated that the meetings of the Public Health Commission have been a formula to seek “consensus” so that the Autonomous Communities could make their contributions. But, despite this, the Plan will still be approved.

The CCAA had until noon this Thursday to decide whether to join or not, after reviewing the proposed changes and the allegations presented by the different autonomies. However, Health will not report which communities are in favor or against until Friday, when the plenary session of the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System (CISNS) is scheduled to be held at ministerial headquarters.

In any case, it is indifferent to know which communities join, because the objective is to change the necessary legislation to be able to carry out the contemplated measures, among which the prohibition of smoking on terraces or the increase in the price of tobacco stand out, among other.

For his part, the Secretary of State for Health, Javier Padilla, has assured, through a publication on the social network ‘X’, that “this week will be left to decide who, once again, is placed in a place in the that the years will show that there was no point in being there”. In this same publication, he has assured that the Plan “will go ahead even if the PP does not support it.”

Likewise, he has listed the “list of excuses” of the CCAA governed by the PP for not supporting the Comprehensive Plan for the Prevention and Control of Smoking.

Faced with the argument that the document “has been done very quickly”, Padilla alleges that the Plan “has been in the works for years”, and that the authors are “members of the tobacco group of all the Autonomous Communities”. Furthermore, “the general directors of public health have been with the Plan for weeks.”

These same CCAA also criticize that the Plan does not have an economic memory. Given this, Padilla assures that the large Comprehensive Plans that have passed through the CISNS in previous legislatures “did not have an economic memory” and that, furthermore, Ministry experts do not see it as necessary. Furthermore, he has asserted that “the economic impact will derive from the approval of regulatory texts that will carry an estimate of budgetary impact.”

Likewise, Padilla has assured in ‘X’ that the plain packaging measure has a specific bibliography section with 20 references, in response to those Autonomous Communities that claim that they do not have it.

Regarding the request that tobacco taxes be “finalist”, Padilla has assured that these “have a dubious fit” in the Spanish legal system. However, he has advanced that they will study, together with the Treasury, how to reverse measures against smoking. “We hope that the increase in taxes will mean a decrease in revenue due to a good impact on consumption. That said, health spending derived from tobacco triples revenue via taxes,” he added.

On the other hand, CCAA like Aragón opted for the voluntary nature of prohibiting smoking on the terraces. “Expanding them is already voluntary. It does not work,” the Secretary of State for Health concluded, adding that “self-regulation in public health does not work very well.” He has pointed out that this is the same argument as with the seat belt, but, in this case, “with obvious damage to third parties.”

In this same sense, Aragón also proposed the establishment of measures that include different types of incentives and tax benefits for smoke-free spaces. “Tax incentives when it is not evident that there will be an economic impact, do not make sense,” Padilla added.

“When there are no reasons that can be made public to oppose common sense measures, one clings to formal aspects,” he concluded.