Funding Given to Smokers Wanting to Quit

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Sarah Peddie

The Spanish Government have revealed that they are going to fund treatment for smokers trying to give up the habit for good. 

Maria Luisa Carcedo, the acting Minister for Health, announced that her department will put funding into the best medication and pharmaceuticals to help people quit smoking.

The medication in question is that of Varenicline (trade names of Chantix and Champix) which is a prescription medication for the treatment of nicotine addiction. It is estimated that the drug helps one in every 11 smokers remain abstinent from tobacco within six months.

However, the drug does have some side effects which include mild nausea to around 30% of people who take it. 

Spain has one of the strictest anti-smoking laws in Europe, which was introduced in 2011. The law states that smoking in bars and restaurants is banned. Smokers are also prohibited on television broadcasts, near hospitals or in school playgrounds. 

In 2018, it was revealed that 22% of the Spanish population were smokers. This is the country’s lowest proportion in 30 years.

However, more than 57,000 people die from tobacco related diseases in the country each year and the Spanish Government have seen the opportunity to try and tackle that. 

There is some controversy around the drug being effectively free to patients. Doctors have been campaigning for this to happen for a while but others say that the medication is around the same price as a pack of cigarettes and patients should buy it for themselves. 

The Minister believes that this plan could benefit around 70,000 tobacco addicts in Spain in under a year.

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