The professionals of the National Health System (SNS) will thus have one more tool for smoking cessation. The financing of these two pharmacological treatments will complement other supports that have already been offered since the Primary Care consultations.

The Minister of Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Welfare in office, María Luisa Carcedo, points out that this is an important step in tackling: "Success in smoking cessation in people who do it without help is 5% compared to 30 -40% in those who follow a specific drug treatment and have psychological support. " However, he emphasizes that "only a comprehensive approach and with multisectoral measures of a legislative, health and educational nature will make smoking prevention and control possible."

Smoking constitutes the main preventable public health problem in developed countries, being a determining factor in numerous pathologies and the first cause of preventable morbidity and mortality.

In fact, in Spain there are 58,000 annual deaths associated with tobacco. Therefore, to address Minister Carcedo, he recalls that "we must adopt structural measures such as those reflected in the document 'Lines of action 2019-2020 in the field of smoking prevention and control', approved by the Council's Public Health Commission Interterritorial of the National Health System (SNS) on May 9 ".

Among the measures included in this document is the inclusion of the approach to smoking in the portfolio of Primary Care services, an initiative in accordance with scientific and cost-effective evidence. "70% of the population goes to their family doctor at least once a year, smokers patients more frequently, and this offers an important opportunity to advise, motivate and provide effective help to those who have decided to quit," underlines Minister

How is it prescribed?

In order for the prescription of these medications to be carried out, it is necessary that the Autonomous Communities, INGESA and Mutuals, each within the scope of their competencies, develop, develop, implement or adapt a program of individual and / or group smoking cessation support in which aspects are defined, such as the health personnel involved or the intervention strategy.

Its prescription will be produced by electronic prescription in patients who are included in that individual and / or group support program and also meet the established criteria: have express motivation to quit verifiable smoking with at least one attempt in the last year, smoking ten cigarettes or more per day and have a high level of dependence, qualified by the Fagerström test ≥ 7.

Each prescription will be made for one container, which is equivalent to one month of treatment. After that, the doctor, in the framework of the follow-up of the smoking cessation program, should assess the evolution of the effectiveness of the treatment prior to the issuance of the following prescription.

The complete treatment lasts between nine and twelve weeks and the SNS will finance an annual attempt per patient to quit smoking.

This measure can benefit around 83,800 people, with an estimated budget impact of 7.9 million euros in the first year.

The cost of the day treatment, including VAT, will be approximately 3.55 euros per person in the case of varenicline and 1.03 euros / day in the case of bupropion. If we consider a person with a pharmaceutical contribution of 40%, their contribution would be 1.42 euros / day in the case of varenicline and 0.41 euros in the case of bupropion.

Therefore, there will be a 36% decrease in the cost of treatment in varenicline and 72% in bupropion. It should be noted that this price decrease will be maintained when citizens acquire these medicines out of financing.

Stop smoking, the best gift

The minister once again warns about the health risks of both traditional tobacco products and new emerging products and advises not to consume any of them.

Also, remember that quitting smoking is one of the best gifts you can give for your health and that of those around you and makes available to the public the information collected on the web Healthy lifestyles, under the Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare,, which offers practical and useful information in relation to smoking prevention.

On this website, citizens can download the brochure "Decide to quit smoking" for free

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