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Will Poland be a smoke-free country? The condition is to change the anti-smoking policy

MedExpress Team

Piotr Wójcik

Published April 24, 2024 08:33

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fot. Piotr Wójcik
- The most years in health and the most years of life are taken away from us by smoking, high blood pressure and high BMI, i.e. overweight and obesity," said Dr. Janusz Krupa, president of the Institute for Conscious Man, during the presentation of the report "Smoking - the most important health risk factor in Poland," prepared by the WHO. From the recommendations in the publication, it is clear that a national anti-tobacco strategy should be created, including effective measures to reduce the percentage of smokers.

The European Union assumes that, by 2040 at the latest, the percentage of smokers in the Community countries should not exceed 5%. For Poland, this means a very ambitious challenge, because today almost every third adult smokes. Translated into numbers, this is about 8 million people, so within 14 years 6.5 million Poles will have to be convinced to quit smoking.

- We should develop a national anti-tobacco strategy. We already have a lot of these strategies, but eventually there may be one that will then be implemented. We should consider the creation and strong position of an agency for the prevention and treatment of addiction. It exists in Poland, but it's really advisable that it has either more power or more influence on the shape of prevention in Poland. It is also necessary to ensure that public spending on addiction treatment is financed at a level of at least 0.1 percent of GDP. In Poland, an average of only 36 euros per person is spent on prevention annually," stressed Dr. Janusz Krupa.

According to the report's authors, a dense network of anti-smoking consultation points is also needed. Information about a patient's use of tobacco products, meanwhile, should be entered in the medical record. Health education in health lessons is also needed. As announced by the Ministry of Health, such a subject will replace upbringing for family life in the 2025/2026 school year.

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