Health experts criticise Spain’s new tobacco laws 

12 April, Stockholm – International health experts have criticised the Spanish government’s new legislative proposal on vaping, which would equate e-cigarettes with traditional cigarettes. 

The new proposal, published this week, would seek to bring the legislation on alternative products, such as e-cigarettes, into line with that of traditional cigarettes irrespective of the difference in relative risk. 

Moreover, the new law would also seek to introduce a new tax levy on e-cigarettes.

This is directly counter to the Swedish approach, which seeks to make alternative products accessible and affordable by taxing them only at a fraction of the rate of cigarettes. Indeed, the Swedish government recently published a proposal to reduce the tax on snus even further.

Sweden is on the cusp of becoming smoke free, with smoking rates only just above 5%. This is largely down to the availability of alternative products, such as e-cigarettes and nicotine pouches. By comparison, Spain has a smoking rate of 17%.

Commenting on the proposed changes, the leader of Smoke Free Sweden, Dr Delon Human, said:

The evidence from Sweden is compelling and should be ignored no longer. If Spanish authorities are serious about saving lives, they should be following the science and offering affordable access to vapes, instead of blocking this proven ‘fire escape’ for smokers. 

“Restricting access to these reduced-risk products – which have been recognised as at least 95% less harmful by expert authorities – will simply condemn many smokers to stick with cigarettes and sentence them to an unnecessarily premature death.”

Notes to editors


Smoke Free Sweden

Jessica Perkins 

About Smoke Free Sweden

Smoke Free Sweden is a movement that encourages other countries to follow the Swedish experience when it comes to Tobacco Harm Reduction. Sweden is about to become the first ‘smoke free’ European country, with a smoking rate of below 5 percent. This remarkable achievement can be attributed to Sweden’s open attitude towards alternative products.

For more information on Sweden’s successful approach to becoming a smoke free nation, please visit

Smoke Free Sweden Health Figures

Compared to the rest of Europe, Sweden has 44% fewer tobacco-related deaths, a lung cancer rate that is 41% lower, and 38% fewer deaths attributable to any cancer.

Public Health England reported that vaping was at least 95% less harmful than smoking in its report, E-cigarettes: an evidence update.