Since 1998, the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has housed the Institute for Global Tobacco Control (IGTC), whose mission is to prevent death and disease from tobacco use by generating evidence to support effective tobacco control interventions. The institute has received recognition for its work and achievements by being designated as a Collaborating Centre of the World Health Organization since 2004 and a partner in the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use since 2006.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) has been investing in cancer research since 1946, with special attention directed at tobacco control worldwide. Actions in priority areas such as tobacco taxes and regulations have led to enormous success passing local, state and federal laws in the US and worldwide to prevent and reduce tobacco use and to ensure governments use their authority to regulate tobacco industry practices.
The National Institute of Public Health of Mexico (INSP) is an academic institution, whose mission is to contribute to social equity and the full realization of the right to health protection through the generation and dissemination of knowledge, the training of human resources and innovation in multidisciplinary research for the development of evidence-based public policies. The prevention and control of cancer, including tobacco control, is one of INSP’s lines of research.
In collaboration with the National Commission against Addictions (CONADIC) and the Autonomous University of Baja California Sur, this top-notch team of institutions managed to design and implement a robust methodological approach, including two methods: a survey to smokers and an analysis of littered packs collected. The use of these two academic methods allowed for the triangulation of results to produce industry-independent estimates of the illicit trade of cigarettes in Mexico.
In this significant conjoint initiative, PAHO was able to associate local knowledge with international experience and expertise, bringing leading research organizations to the Region and empowering research capacity at the local level, also encouraging different governmental sectors to act together on a public health issue. These efforts are still bearing fruit: the information produced remain as a concrete and transparent input for future discussions in Mexico, while the group of partners created remains active and envisioning opportunities to support other countries in the region.