Session 5: Accelerating the MPOWER package implementation during COVID-19 in the Americas: a final glimpse

Session 5: Accelerating the MPOWER package implementation during COVID-19 in the Americas: a final glimpse
Gavel with cigarettes
  • DATE: Thursday, 4 November 2021
  • TIME: 12:00pm EDT [click here for your corresponding time zone]
  • DURATION: 120 minutes

The eight sessions of the virtual technical training on tobacco control (TC), which were divided into two blocks, have highlighted the benefits of progressing in the implementation of the MPOWER package and other TC measures established in the WHO Framework for Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).

Topics addressed in the sessions included: the economic and social impact of tobacco, the effectiveness of tobacco taxes, the course to eliminate illicit trade, the economic impact of TC policies, tobacco industry (TI) tactics on social media networks as well as their impact and the importance of their identification, TI litigation to challenge TC policies in relation to advertising and packaging, multisectoral actions in trade and customs policies regarding TC, and perspectives on the future of TC in the Region of the Americas.

Considering the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic, these issues have also acquired greater relevance given the impact the pandemic has had on the health of the world population, highlighting the fragility of the social, economic, and environmental aspects that determine it. Progress around TC is relevant since tobacco consumption is an aggravating factor of the COVID-19 disease. A relationship as lethal as the one between an infectious disease and noncommunicable disease has never been seen, and although tobacco is the only risk factor common to the four main groups of noncommunicable diseases, the TI has not stopped deploying a series of strategies to prevent governments from implementing tobacco control measures that improve the health conditions of their populations. Instead, they have dedicated abundant resources to try to better their image during the COVID-19 pandemic and have attempted to misguide the public on the real impact that the consumption of their products has on the development of the disease, causing non-compliance with the provisions of the WHO FCTC, especially what is established in article 5.3, about the protection of policies from TI interests.

In this final recap session, participants of this virtual technical training will discuss challenges, in terms of threats and weaknesses, that are faced when implementing TC measures; as well as the strengths, opportunities and priority actions to follow for progressing in the implementation of the MPOWER package and the WHO FCTC, especially in a post-COVID-19 pandemic Region of the Americas.

Through an interactive and guided session with tobacco control specialists from PAHO and INSP, participants from different Member States of the Region will discuss and work in four separate working groups on the main issues addressed during the virtual technical training: a) Fiscal policy and illicit trade, b) TI interference and prevention of conflicts of interest, c) WHO FCTC in multisectoral actions and d) The tobacco endgame.

About Session 5

Objectives of the Session:

  1. Share key messages addressed during the eight sessions of the virtual technical training. 
  2. Identify, in working groups, weaknesses and threats for the implementation of tobacco control policies in the Region of the Americas and in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  3. Develop, in working groups, proposals for tobacco control policies, considering strengths and opportunities for the Region of the Americas. 


Session 5 MPOWER Training Agenda