Mexico awarded WNTD prize for achievements in tobacco control

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Three government ministries in Mexico were awarded with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) prize for World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), in recognition of the country’s recent decisions to increase tobacco tax and to ban the import of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products (HTPs). Both achievements were supported by The Union under the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use Grants Program.  

“The Union congratulates the Government of Mexico, in particular the Ministry of Health, for its leadership in implementing tobacco control policy which will protect the health of the country’s citizens,” said Gustavo Sóñora, The Union’s Regional Director for Latin America.

“However, we also hope that this acknowledgement will prove to be an incentive, urging decision makers in Mexico to continue strengthening the tobacco control agenda in Mexico through the implementation of evidence-based measures and an intersectoral approach, free from any conflict of interests.”

Tobacco use is one of the most common risk factors for non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which disproportionately impact the world's poorest and most vulnerable populations. With over 16 million Mexican people still using tobacco as of 2017, continuing to implement the evidence-based policies of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control would help to drastically curb NCDs and related deaths in Mexico.

Sóñora highlighted key areas of focus for tobacco control in Mexico, among them: smokefree environments across the entire country; comprehensive banning of all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; plain packaging of cigarettes and other tobacco products; banning of flavoured cigarettes and additives; further, systematic increases of tobacco taxes; and the adoption of international mechanisms to eliminate the illicit trade of tobacco products.

The Union congratulates Mexico for its well-deserved recognition, and looks forward to continuing to work with the Government of Mexico and its partners to develop and strengthen its tobacco control policies.

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