Tag Archive for: Tobacco Control

In the Senate of the Nation took place today, a day of intersectoral dialogue that included the presentation of a bill for the ratification of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”

BUENOS AIRES. On Thursday, May 18, a day was held to promote the Argentine ratification of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), an international public health treaty with members from 180 countries that Argentina has yet to ratify.

The Convention provides for a series of measures aimed at improving the health of the population by seeking the elimination or reduction of the consumption of these products and exposure to second-hand smoke. These measures include banning all forms of advertising, promotion and sponsorship, increasing the price of cigarettes and tobacco taxes, enacting laws that monitor and evaluate policies aimed at preventing consumption, implementation Of 100% smoke-free environments, offering help to quit smoking and the inclusion of health warnings with images on cigarette labels, among other measures.

In Argentina, about 44 thousand people die each year from diseases related to smoking. The average age at which smoking begins is at 12 and until then people are bombarded by aggressive marketing strategies developed by the tobacco industry. One of the most advanced measures of the FCTC is to eliminate all forms of dissemination with the aim of “protecting present and future generations against the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of smoking and exposure to smoke “.

In the event they spoke Juan Manuel Abal Medina, Senator of the Nation; Marta Santore, President of the Inter-American Heart Foundation of Argentina (FIC) Dr. César Di Giano, President of the Argentine Anti-tobacco Union (UATA); Armando Peruga, Former Manager of the WHO Tobacco Free Initiative; Patricia Sosa, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids Latin American Programs Director, among other leading personalities.

We were present with the certainty that our country must ratify the Convention to guarantee the effective protection of the Right to Health; And also with the certainty that such ratification would constitute a key tool to address the interests of the tobacco industry.


Federico Piccioni


Agustina Mozzoni <agustinamozzoni@fundeps.org>

The department of human rights submitted two Amicus Curiae briefs, enabling public participation in court cases, in discussions concerning health protection and tobacco control. FUNDEPS seeks to promote legal frameworks and protect the human right to health.


In the case of “Inter-American Heart Foundation – Argentina versus the Government of the City of Buenos Aires under the Amparo Action of Protection”, FUNDEPS constituted as a “friend of the Court” in the appeal case presented before Room I of the Appeals Chamber in the Civil and Commercial Court of the City of Buenos Aires.Through Amparo, CIF Argentina, a Non-Profit Organisation working in public politics concerning chronic non-communicable diseases, demanded that the Government of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires take direct measures to effectively comply with provisions by the Law of Tobacco Control in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.

In the first instance, Judge Lidia E. Lago rejected the appeal, arguing that the Amparo Action of Protection was intended only for those cases in which constitutional rights are violated in a clearly arbitrary or unlawful manner. The judge accepts that, in this case this requirement was not fulfilled; therefore the Amparo procedure was not relevant, despite non-compliance of regulations causing direct damage to the human right to health of Buenos Aires citizens.

Before the adverse ruling, FIC Argentina appealed the adjudication and FUNDEPS appeared as a “friend of the Court”, supporting the arguments of the appellant. In this manner, FUNDEPS warned against the use of tobacco products and the industry’s focus on young people. Reference was also made to the content and scope of the right to health, the collective face of the right to health, the operating of direct damage prevention within the Argentinean legal system and the role of the judiciary in defending, promoting and protecting human rights.This case still remains unresolved to this day. We at FUNDEPS are hoping for a favourable ruling under this framework and that the right to health be protected, urging the Government of the City of Buenos Aires to respect Human Rights Covenants, the National Constitution, the autonomous city of Buenos Aires Statute and the local legal framework.


In Colombia there was a request for nullification of two circulars of the Colombian Superintendency of Industry and Commerce (SIC), which regulates the display of tobacco products. The main argument is that articles 14, 15 and 16 of the 2009 Colombian law 1335 impose a general prohibition on the publicity and promotion of tobacco. The display of tobacco products (regulated by the circulars) is a form of this promotion, for which it should be banned. Adding to this domestic regulation, on 9th July 2008 the WHO framework agreement on tobacco control was enforced, incorporating the possibility of international responsibility of Colombia.

Alongside FIC Argentina, FUNDEPS submitted an amicus curiae brief with the objective of supporting this request to nullify the circular letters of the Superintendence of Trade of Colombia, emphasising how the display of tobacco products is used throughout the entire region as a clear form of marketing. References to the impact of these techniques on health are also incorporated within the analysis, particularly concerning the level of initial consumption in children and adolescents as well as the impediment of cessation in adult smokers.The document carried out a study of the international legal framework which implements the highest standards of the right to health and in particular those documents that specifically categorise the display of products as a form of publicity. In the same way, arguments frequently used by the tobacco industry were presented and answered; arguments with the objective of opposing those measures which tend to restrict these market techniques and aim to guarantee better protection of the right to health. Finally, scientific evidence was enclosed, with respect to positive impacts of this policy type.

At FUNDEPS we celebrate the collaborative efforts of civil society organisations, which seek to ensure adequate health protection, in particular against the tobacco epidemic. In this regard, we trust that the circular letters will be declared void by the Council of State and that it serves as a background record so that the region advances in legal frameworks that duly protect the human right to health.

More information:

Amicus Curiae brief submitted in Argentina

Amicus Curiae brief submitted in Colombia


Juan Miguel Litvachkes

Gianella Severini

Translated by: Samantha Pearton

On 15 October 2014, the Health Minister of the province of Mendoza announced a campaign launched in collaboration with major tobacco transnationals Massalin Particulares and Nobleza Piccardo.

Nobleza Picardo, Massalin Particulares y la provincia de Mendoza, a través de su Ministro de Salud, el Sr. Matías Roby, firmaron un acuerdo para la puesta en marcha de una campaña para prevenir la venta de cigarrillos a menores de edad.

La Fundación para el Desarrollo de Políticas Sustentables (FUNDEPS) se suma a las diversas organizaciones de la sociedad civil que han denunciado que el acuerdo suscripto deja en evidencia la existencia de otros objetivos detrás de la supuesta intención de prevenir el consumo de tabaco en jóvenes. La Fundación Interamericana del Corazón (FIC) ha señalado que la verdadera razón del acuerdo es evitar el aumento del impuesto al cigarrillo.

Por su parte, el Ministro de Salud de Mendoza, Matías Roby, ha expresado que esta campaña encuentra su base en que los kiosqueros y los padres son los responsables indirectamente de incentivar a los menores de 18 años al consumo de tabaco. Lamentamos los dichos del Ministro y le recordamos que numerosos estudios científicos demuestran sin lugar a hesitaciones que los menores ingresan al tabaquismo no por sus padres o los kiosqueros, sino por las campañas publicitarias dirigidas a menores de edad confeccionadas por las tabacaleras. En esta línea, son también las tabacaleras que con su poderío económico buscan aliarse con gobiernos para interferir en cualquier tipo de medida que pueda perjudicar las ventas de cigarrillos.

Estas estrategias han sido utilizadas desde los años ’80 aseguran los investigadores Anne Landman, Pamela M. Ling y Stanton A. Glantz quienes describen que la industria comenzó con este tipo de programas en los Estados Unidos en la década del ’80 para prevenir legislación que restringiría actividades de la misma industria tabacalera. Los programas de la industria muestran que el consumo de tabaco para los adultos es una elección, pero omite aclarar como la publicidad de tabaco promueve su consumo, omitiendo también los riesgos que ésta tiene para la salud. La industria ha utilizado estos programas para combatir aumento de impuestos, leyes de ambientes libres de humo y las restricciones de publicidad en el mundo entero. Por último indican los autores que no hay evidencia de que estos programas hagan decrecer el consumo de tabaco entre los jóvenes. Esto lleva a una sola conclusión: los programas llevados adelante por la industria tabacalera para prevenir el consumo entre jóvenes solo han producido más daño a los fines del control en el consumo de tabaco. En sus recomendaciones finales, los estudiosos sugieren que la industria tabacalera debería tener prohibido llevar acabo directa o indirectamente (a través del patrocinio) programas que apunten a la prevención del consumo de tabaco en los jóvenes1.

Es oportuno recordar que el tabaquismo es una adicción que, en Argentina, afecta a casi 9.000.000 de personas y produce más de 40.000 muertes por año. Veronica Schoj, Directora Ejecutiva de FIC Argentina aseguró “Si las autoridades de Mendoza quisieran reducir significativamente el consumo de tabaco, en lugar de establecer acuerdos con la industria tabacalera deberían hacer cumplir la ley vigente en la provincia y avanzar con políticas de probada eficacia, como las medidas fiscales – que reducen la asequibilidad de los cigarrillos- y la prohibición completa de la publicidad de tabaco, incluida la exhibición de los productos en los puntos de venta. Cuando un gobierno admite la influencia de la industria tabacalera está protegiendo las ganancias de las transnacionales del tabaco a costa de la vida y la salud de la población.”

FUNDEPS, miembro de la Alianza Libre de Humo Argentina (ALIAR) solicita al Ministro Roby que dé marcha atrás en el acuerdo celebrado el 15 de octubre de 2014 con Nobleza Picardo y Massalin Particualres, y que proteja el derecho a la salud de todos los habitantes de la provincia de Mendoza.

Más información

Contacto: Juan Miguel Litvachkes, juanlitvachkes@fundeps.org


1 Landman, A., Ling, P. M., & Glantz, S. A. (2002). Tobacco industry youth smoking prevention programs: protecting the industry and hurting tobacco control. American journal of public health, 92(6), 917-930.