The successful path of Slovenia to a smoke-free society (2040) with support from NGOs
Miha Lovse 1  
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Slovenian Coalition for Public Health, Environment and Tobacco Control, Maribor, Slovenia
Publication date: 2020-10-22
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2020;6(Supplement):A2
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Slovenia is quite successful in terms of the implementation of national policy of tobacco control measures from different trans-national legislation acts. It also has a strong advocacy sector. Most notably and recently, Slovenia implemented tobacco plain packaging at the manufacturer and retailer level, which was achieved with the strong support of NGOs, especially with the Slovenian ‘NGOs Protect Our Health’ Network. A great deal was also the compilation of a meta-analysis of published studies, ‘The Elasticity of Demand for Tobacco Products’, with the partnership of Slovenian Coalition of Public Health, Environment and Tobacco Control, and the Economic Faculty of Maribor. The ‘Tobacco Control Scale 2019 in Europe’ document shows results and issues in its headline that Slovenia improved its score, the highest in Europe.
The national strategy, ‘SLOVENIA WITHOUT TOBACCO 2020–2030 Proposal’, for reducing tobacco and related products, is still in the intersectional consultation. It already optimistically foresees in the first lines that Slovenia will be a tobacco-free society by 2040, at the least. This means that no more than 5% of the population, older than 15 years, would use tobacco and related products. By 2030, the number of adult smokers will decrease from 24.2% (2014) to 15%, whereas the number of everyday smokers for the same period should drop from 19% (2014) to 12%. The goal of the strategy is also to reduce the number of 11-year-olds, who already at some point in their life smoked (from 2.2% in 2018 to less than 1% in 2030), the number of 13-year-olds should be reduced by more than half (from 10.4% in 2014 to less than 5% in 2030), too. By implementing different measures, the following should be accomplished – that children, adolescents and young adults would not even begin smoking. With special care, the strategy would enormously reduce the number of smoking pregnant women and secondhand smoking as well. In different ways, it would strongly motivate smoking cessation in all generations.
The Coordination Group of Tobacco and Related Products at the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Slovenia was established in 2019. Its main goal is implementing a comprehensive social care for Slovenian inhabitants, protecting them from the harmful effects of tobacco and related products. There are also Slovenian NGOs delegates in this coordination group.