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Czech government approves plan for regulated cannabis market

The Czech cabinet yesterday approved a plan for fighting addictions until 2025. It includes the introduction of a strictly regulated cannabis market based on rules drafted by an expert group. The plan also addresses addiction to other drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and gambling.

The plan still has to pass through both houses of the Czech parliament and be signed by the president before it becomes law.

National anti-drug policy coordinator Jindřich Vobořil previously said that the plan would have five priorities. One of them will be a controlled cannabis market. Another one is the tax policy, which could bring Czechia up to CZK 15 billion a year.

Could Czechia become second EU country to legalise recreational cannabis?

Currently, only one EU country has legalised recreational cannabis – and despite popular misconception, it is not the Netherlands, where the sale of cannabis is tolerated at licensed coffeeshops, but cultivation, supply and possession of cannabis still remain criminal offences. In December 2021, Malta became the first EU country to legalise cannabis for recreational use – and Czechia may be well on its way to becoming the second. If national anti-drug coordinator Jindřich Vobořil’s proposed plan comes into effect in 2024 as he hopes, Czechia could become the second EU country to legalise the recreational use of cannabis. [...]

Czechia embraces harm reduction, looks to include it in public health strategy

The Czech Republic is set to become the main EU proponent of tobacco harm-reduction policy following a change in philosophy among leaders, and is planning to implement a new decree for nicotine pouches in the near future as a result.

A new action plan is now expected to be debated, which will set harm reduction as part of the country’s public health strategy going forward, according to Ondřej Jakob, a spokesperson for the Czech Ministry of Health.

Visiting Europe’s major cities has the same health impact as smoking 1 to 4 cigarettes

According to a European study published on Friday, air pollution is so high in major European cities that spending a long weekend there could have the same health impacts as smoking between one and four cigarettes. The European Association of Transport and Environment compared the fine particle contamination of Europe’s 10 most visited cities this summer by converting it to the number of cigarettes smoked.

Czechs smoking less since ban in restaurants took effect

The number of smoked cigarettes fell on average by three a day among Czech smokers several months after the smoking ban in restaurants came into force, Charles University and Teaching Faculty addiction experts have told CTK, referring to the results of a survey among 130 smokers.

However, since the results cannot be related to the whole population, another survey is being prepared.

"We were watching the smokers in the surgeries in Prague for seven months," expert Adam Kulhanek said.

Smoking ban in restaurants reduces smoking-related diseases

The statistical data of the Czech Institute of Health Information and Statistics (UZIS) on the number of hospitalised persons over smoking-related diseases show its fall after smoking ban in restaurants was enacted last May, Ondrej Majek, an UZIS expert, told journalists on Monday.

The biggest fall was recorded among the elderly over 60, Majek said.