Hungary: people born in the 2020s won’t have legal rights any more to buy tobacco

Smoking Hungarians

(Unsplash, 2018)

This article was exclusively written for the The European Sting by Ms. Zsanett Dren, a 5th year medical student from University of Debrecen, Hungary. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. However, the opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


First of all, I have to say that Hungary, as a central-eastern European country, is following the western „trends” and habits and isn’t the leader or initiative area of Europe.

In 2014, Hungary stood on the first place among the countries with the highest number of people who died in lung cancer. It meant approximately 22 000 people per year. It is a huge number, in spite of the European laws, which have been executed since 2009. The European Union’s aim is to be the global leader of reducing the use of tobacco.

Beside Ireland, the UK, Bulgaria, Malta, Spain, and Greece, Hungary has the strictest provision with a complete ban on smoking in workplaces, enclosed public spaces and on public transports.  To take a closer look: it is not allowed to smoke in public education institutions, like nursery, kindergarten, primary schools, high schools, universities; it is prohibited to smoke on playgrounds, at bus stops, in the underground; it is allowed to smoke only 5 meters far from the border of these areas. It is allowed to smoke in smoking areas at workplaces, if it is  an open airspace. In healthcare institutions you can  smoke 10 meters far from the entrance, of course, outside.

Moreover, our government have taken different steps for prevention, for example with information campaigns,  advertising restrictions of tobacco products, etc. The most important goal beside this is to protect non-smokers, especially children from the effects of smoking and passive smoking.

In medical school we study  that it is our responsibility as well to ask our patients about their smoking habits. It is called minimal intervention. The next step is to ask them whether they think about  quitting smoking earlier and we have to give information, advice for them.

However, the biggest modification in my country was to establish national tobacco shops. It was a new change in legislation in 2012, that selling tobacco products is legal and possible only in these shops. This law came into force in 2013 July.

National tobacco shops are not  ordinary shops, there are  many regulations and the aim of these regulations  are to reduce using tobacco  and prevent  tobacco to be available for teenagers. For instance, on the sign board  there is an 18 sign, so people who are under 18 must not enter  the tobacco shop. Over and above, the windows and doors of the shops have to be darkened, so that we cannot see what they sell, we cannot see tobacco products, so it doesn’t come to our mind. Tobacco shops must have a separated entrance, it cannot be a part of a supermarket or anything else. At the same time  the prices of tobacco products  started getting higher including higher taxes.

In my opinion, Hungary needed these restrictions to have a healthier society in the future but a lot of citizens opposed against the new rules. Probably it cost a lot to create this new system but I believe that it is worth.  Now in 2018 a Hungarian politician, Janos Lazar, announced  a new plan that children who will born after 2020 will not be able to get tobacco product legally. If this idea comes true, I think  in the future Hungary can be the first smoking-free country in Europe.

About the author

Zsanett Dren is a 5th year medical student from University of Debrecen, Hungary. She is a member of Debrecen’s Medical Students Association, which is connected to IFMSA. As a future medical doctor, she feels responsible for taking part in prevention and not only in cure. She believes that healthy lifestyle, education and prevention are more profitable for the patients and the doctors, too. She field of interest is pediatrics, especially neonatology. In her free time, she really likes to travel, do sports, and turn off her mind with reading novels.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Poliomielitis: climatic changes and impossibility in border control

‘Climate change is the battle of my life’, UN chief tells students living on the frontline in Fiji

New UN agriculture agency report underscores value of fishing in fight against global hunger

Is the energy industry meeting its sustainability goals?

Yemen war: UN chief urges good faith as ‘milestone’ talks get underway in Sweden

Why and how did ISIS and Muslim fundamentalism gain momentum this year?

World Migratory Bird Day highlights deadly risks of plastic pollution

10 cities are predicted to gain megacity status by 2030

Miguel Arias Cañete European Commission

EU should invest more in climate and not sit back on its laurels and watch

European Youth Forum welcomes steps towards raising awareness of youth rights by EU ministers

Professional practices of primary health care for Brazilian health and gender inequality

A Sting Exclusive: “Digital and mobile technologies are helping to achieve an economic success in Spain”, the Spanish Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Information Society Víctor Calvo-Sotelo reveals to the Sting at Mobile World Congress 2015

Charles Michel advocates a strong Europe that acts where it can add real value

Draghi to hold on zero interest rates until he leaves ECB

Public health through universal health coverage can help to attain many SDGs

Europe united in not supporting a US attack on Syria

‘The time for action is now’ senior UN peacekeeping official says, urging support for regional force combating Sahel terrorism

Venezuela: ‘A worrying destabilizing factor in the region’, Bachelet tells Human Rights Council

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: “Am I a real Boy?”

Hunger, displacement and disease: 4.3 million people remain in dire need of aid in Chad

How will the EU face the migration crisis when the Turkish threats come true?

Nearly four million North Koreans in urgent need, as food production slumps by almost 10 per cent

Antisemitism, intolerance, can be unlearned, Guterres tells New York commemoration

Assembly of European Regions @ European Business Summit 2014: The European regions on the path to recovery

5 things to know about the exploding world of pro gaming

3 charts to help you understand the American shale boom

4 radical shifts required to achieve universal health coverage worldwide

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: violence surges in Nigeria, anti-Semitism on the march, taxing pollution to tackle climate crisis, and more

European tourism remains a strong growth factor

EU’s Finance Ministers draft plan to raise tax bills of online giants like Google and Amazon

South Sudan: ‘Outraged’ UN experts say ongoing widespread human rights violations may amount to war crimes

Erasmus+ will finance existing UK-EU mobility in the event of no-deal Brexit

Is South Korea set to lose from its FTA with the EU?

A Europe that Protects: Commission calls for continued action to eradicate trafficking in human beings

Why are wildfires getting worse?

International trade statistics: trends in third quarter 2019

How Hawaii plans to be the first US state to run entirely on clean energy

Can free trade deliver cheaper renewable energy? Ask Mexico

Solutions for cultural understanding: medical students’ perspective

A shortened EU Summit admits failures, makes risky promises

Eurozone: Subdued inflation can lead to more recession

The Free World Experience Report – LGBTQI+ health on the spot

Can fighting climate change bring the Arab world closer together?

Markets are more sensitive to Greece’s woes than Merkel

Afghanistan: UN mission welcomes new polling dates following election delays

Sustainable development demands a broader vision, says new OECD Development Centre report

Tax reforms accelerating with push to lower corporate tax rates

Burning Amazon rainforests: Darting towards the doom of Human Race

Trump’s Russian affair spills over and upsets Europe

Online government services could change your life. But only if you have access to the internet

Why Eurozone can afford spending for growth

Online shopping across the EU to be easier from 3 December

The world’s e-waste is a huge problem. It’s also a golden opportunity

UN space-based tool opens new horizons to track land-use on Earth’s surface

Internet Forum: Prioritize technologies most needed for sustainable development

Metrics of the Sustainable Developments Goals: Can we trust our data?

Can India reduce deaths on one hazardous road to zero? This group is trying

‘Virtual Biopsy’ device detects skin tumours in 15 minutes

Here’s how to prepare South-East Asia’s young people for the future

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s