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Tobacco Control in Latin America

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The Union has worked in Latin America since 2006 providing grants and tobacco control technical support to organisations through the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use (BI) Grants Program.

Mexico and Brazil are BI Grants Program priority countries, but The Union also provides support to other countries in the region.

The Union’s work in Latin America has led to major tobacco control policy achievements, including:

  • Since 2006, The Union has provided technical assistance to strengthen and enforce tobacco control policies. For example, The Union supported the adoption of 14 state-level smokefree policies protecting more than 53 percent of Mexico’s population. In 2020, Mexico issued a landmark presidential decree, prohibiting the import of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products, sending a clear message that public health must be prioritised over the tobacco industry’s commercial interests. Read more.
  • The Union has facilitated Brazil’s tobacco control work for more than a decade, working alongside national organisations on major country-wide tobacco control policy reforms. Brazil is now a global leader for tobacco control and has seen a significant drop in adult smoking rates. In 2019, the Government of Brazil filed a landmark lawsuit against British American Tobacco and Philip Morris International, seeking to recover five years of smoking-related illness costs paid by the public health system. Read more.
  • In 2018, Uruguay became the first Latin American country to introduce tobacco product plain packaging; this proven strategy is a powerful tactic in the tobacco control arsenal as it discourages users—both new and current. The Union helped the government build a solid evidence base for the initiative, including a study demonstrating that plain packaging increased tobacco product risk perception among Uruguayan smokers. Read more.


subtitle: Thursday 26 November, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM CET

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Smokeless tobacco (SLT) users are exposed to a large and varied number of health hazards. It has been estimated that 90 percent of the world's SLT users live in the Southeast Asia region. This webinar will inform the latest research and policy developments on smokeless tobacco use in South Asia, and outline and discuss future challenges in controlling the smokeless tobacco demand and supply.


subtitle: Wednesday 18 November

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Article 5.3 in Framework Convention on Tobacco Control provides guidance to protect public health policies from the tobacco industry. This webinar will inform on the straties and challenges for implementing Article 5.3’s Guidelines, address approaches to strong implementation of the Convention and overcome the interference of the tobacco industry.

Where Bans Are Best: LMICs Must Prohibit E-cigarettes & HTPs to Tackle Tobacco

subtitle: Friday 10 July, 2:00 - 3:00 AM CEST

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Expert speakers will discuss The Union's new position paper 'Where bans are best: Why LMICs must prohibit e-cigarettes and heated tobacco product sales to truly tackle tobacco' which considers the potential impact that novel products could have on low- and middle-income countries.