Tobacco Control Articles

A side meeting to the PreCOP8 for the Region of the Americas. 31 August 2018, Washington D.C.

The Pan American Health Organization gathers, for the first time, representatives from the Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs to discuss tobacco control efforts in the Caribbean.

On 31 August 2018, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) convened almost 50 representatives of the Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs from eighteen Caribbean countries and territories, as well as CARICOM, civil society, and relevant international organizations working on tobacco control to attend the meeting “Advancing implementation of the WHO Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in the Caribbean Community”.

Tobacco control efforts in the Caribbean Community continue to lag: as of December 2017, only one Caribbean country had fully implemented three of the four WHO “Best Buys” for tobacco control, while eight countries had not yet implemented any of these measures at the highest level. This lack of progress is particularly worrisome since compared to other subregions of the Americas, people in the Caribbean have the highest probability of dying prematurely from NCDs. Moreover, the Caribbean has the second highest prevalence in the Americas of current tobacco use among adolescents for both sexes (21.3%) far from the regional estimate (13.5%), according to the latest available data from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey.

The meeting was held in Washington D.C., as a side event on the margins of the “Preparatory meeting for the 8th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP8) to the WHO FCTC in the Region of the Americas”. During the meeting, participants discussed the status of tobacco control efforts in the Caribbean, and identified a set of concrete actions and required technical assistance to accelerate implementation of the WHO FCTC both at national and subregional levels, with a focus on advancing towards a 100% smoke-free Caribbean by 2022. Additionally, the meeting brought together, for the first time, Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs, offering an opportunity to discuss policy coherence and strategies to ensure an active participation of CARICOM countries during the upcoming COP8 meeting and beyond. The outcomes of the meeting included country specific action plans, which will help guide efforts in the short and medium term to advance implementation of the WHO FCTC in the Caribbean.

Related Documents


Tobacco Control Program



Introductory presentation:

Landscape of Tobacco Control in the Caribbean: Overview of the Tobacco Epidemic and Status of WHO FCTC Implementation. Dr. Francisco Armada, Regional Advisor, Tobacco Control, Risk Factors and nutrition Unit, NMH Department (RF/NMH), PAHO/WHO.

SESSION 1: Country Experiences and Lessons Learned in Advancing Implementation of the WHO FCTC in the Caribbean.

The process towards approving a comprehensive tobacco control legislation: the cases of Guyana and Suriname.
Enacting health warning regulations: the case of Saint Lucia. Ms. Charmaine Hippolyte, Coordinator, Substance Abuse Advisory Council Secretariat, Ministry of Health and Wellness, Saint Lucia

SESSION 2: Challenges and Opportunities Towards a 100% Smoke-Free Caribbean by 2022. Technical presentations:

The health and economic impact of tobacco exposure. Dr. Adriana Blanco, Unit Chief, NMH/RF, PAHO/WHO
Key considerations for drafting effective 100% smoke-free legislation. Ms. Rose Nathan, Associate Legal Director, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK)
Caribbean Tobacco 2018 group
Participants on the meeting Advancing implementation of the WHO Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in the Caribbean Community.


Tobacco and cardiovascular disease

Find below the communication materials that you can use on local World No Tobacco Day events and activities and share in your social media networks.

Go back to World No Tobacco Day 2018



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WHO is calling on countries to prioritize and accelerate tobacco control efforts as part of their responses to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

All countries benefit from successfully controlling the tobacco epidemic, above all by protecting their citizens from the harms of tobacco use and reducing its economic toll on national economies. The aim of the Sustainable Development Agenda, and its 17 global goals, is to ensure that "no one is left behind."

Tobacco control has been enshrined in the Sustainable Development Agenda. It is seen as one of the most effective means to help achieve SDG target 3.4 of a one-third reduction globally, by 2030, of premature deaths from noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular disease, cancers and chronic obstructed pulmonary disease. Strengthening implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco in all countries is an additional target to be met by governments developing national sustainable development responses.

Controlling tobacco helps achieve other global goals

In addition to saving lives and reducing health inequalities, comprehensive tobacco control contains the adverse environmental impact of tobacco growing, manufacturing, trade and consumption.

Tobacco control can break the cycle of poverty, contribute to ending hunger, promote sustainable agriculture and economic growth, and combat climate change. Increasing taxes on tobacco products can also be used to finance universal health coverage and other development programs of the government.

It is not only governments who can step up tobacco control efforts: people can contribute on an individual level to making a sustainable, tobacco-free world. People can commit to never take up tobacco products. Those who do use tobacco can quit the habit, or seek help in doing so, which will in turn protect their health as well as people exposed to second-hand smoke, including children, other family members and friends. Money not spent on tobacco can be, in turn, used for other essential uses, including the purchase of healthy food, healthcare and education.

Facts about tobacco, tobacco control and the development goals

  • Over 7 million people die from tobacco use every year, a figure that is predicted to grow to more than 8 million a year by 2030 without intensified action. Tobacco use is a threat to any person, regardless of gender, age, race, cultural or educational background. It brings suffering, disease, and death, impoverishing families and national economies.
  • Tobacco use costs national economies enormously through increased health-care costs and decreased productivity. It worsens health inequalities and exacerbates poverty, as the poorest people spend less on essentials such as food, education and health care. Some 80% of premature deaths from tobacco occur in low- or middle-income countries, which face increased challenges to achieving their development goals.
  • Tobacco growing requires large amounts of pesticides and fertilizers, which can be toxic and pollute water supplies. Each year, tobacco growing uses 4.3 million hectares of land, resulting in global deforestation between 2% and 4%. Tobacco manufacturing also produces over 2 million tonnes of solid waste.
  • The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) guides the global fight against the tobacco epidemic. The WHO FCTC is an international treaty with 180 Parties (179 countries and the European Union). Today, more than half the world's countries, representing nearly 40% of the world's population (2.8 billion people), have implemented at least one of the WHO FCTC's most cost-effective measures to the highest level. An increasing number of countries are creating firewalls to ward off interference from the tobacco industry in government tobacco control policy.
  • Through increasing cigarette taxes worldwide by US$1, an extra US$190 billion could be raised for development. High tobacco taxes contribute to revenue generation for governments, reduce demand for tobacco, and offer an important revenue stream to finance development activities.

Suplement 1.

Revista Salud Pública de México.

portada suplementoThis special supplement provides in 14 original papers evidence-based information about tobacco consumption patterns, tobacco control policies and interventions in a number of countries and sub regions in the region of the Americas. The publication is completed by four editorials which address the importance of surveillance and monitoring to measure the progress of tobacco control policies, the global challenges to reduce tobacco consumption and the importance of the Protocol for the elimination of illicit trade in tobacco products.

The suplement is the result of a combined initiative between the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico (INSP), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, with the purpose of disseminating information produced by the Global Tobacco Surveillance System (GTSS).

The supplement is available by clicking on the following link: Tobacco Control in the Americas: from Evidence to Public Policy.


  • Introduction. Anselm J Hennis, Mauricio Hernández-Ávila


  • Towards a tobacco-free Americas: the importance of measuring progress. Carissa Etienne
  • Global challenges in tobacco control.  Kerstin Schotte, Alison Commar, Evan Blecher, Vinayak Prasad
  • Protocol to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products: the dawn of a new era. Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva
  • Measuring progress in tobacco prevention and control: the role of surveillance. Indu B Ahluwalia, René A Arrazola, Corinne Graffunder


  • Monitoring Caribbean tobacco use:baseline adolescent smoking prevalence and regional disparities. Ian R Hambleton, Selvi M Jeyaseelan, Christina Howitt, Anselm J Hennis
  • Linking Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) data to tobacco control policy in Surinam. Katherine Lolley, Esha Marhé, William Seymour, Johanna Lakhisaran
  • Tabaquismo en Costa Rica:susceptibilidad, consumo y dependencia. Sandra Fonseca-Chaves, Jesús Méndez-Muñoz, Julio Bejarano-Orozco, Carlos Manuel Guerrero-López, Luz Myriam Reynales-Shigematsu
  • Impacto de la política de control de tabaco en población adolescente en Uruguay. Winston Abascal, Ana Lorenzo
  • Smoking behavior among third year dental students in Latin American countries: prevalence, perceptions, and risk factors. Irene Tamí-Maury, María Guadalupe Silva-Vetri, Maytté Marcano-Caldera, Alessandra Baasch, Alexander V Prokhorov
  • Quiénes quieren dejar fumar y su disposición a pagar por cesación en Panamá. Víctor H Herrera-Ballesteros, Julio Zúñiga, Ilais Moreno, Beatriz Gómez, Reina Roa-Rodríguez
  • Fumar entre adolescentes: análisis cuantitativo y cualitativo de factores psicosociales asociados con la decisión de fumar en escolares mexicanos. Carlos Filiberto Miguel-Aguilar, Rosibel de los Ángeles Rodríguez-Bolaños, Marta Caballero, Edna Arillo-Santillán, Luz Myriam Reynales-Shigematsu
  • Seducción y aversión: factores de susceptibilidad y desincentivo al inicio del consumo de tabaco entre adolescentes en Bolivia. Gina La Hera-Fuentes, Ricardo Torres-Ruiz, Jorge Dennis Rada-Noriega
  • Exposición a la publicidad de tabaco y consumo de tabaco en adolescentes en América del Sur. Geneviève Plamondon, G Emmanuel Guindon Guillermo Paraje
  • Factores socioeconómicos asociados con la compra ilegal de productos de tabaco en Panamá. Víctor H Herrera-Ballesteros, Julio Zúñiga, Ilais Moreno, Beatriz Gómez, Reina Roa-Rodríguez
  • Exposición a la publicidad del tabaco en los puntos de venta en Argentina. Evidencias de la Encuesta Nacional de Factores de Riesgo 2013. Paola Morello, Dolores Ondarsuhu, Mariana Galante, Victoria O'Donnell, Jonatan Konfino
  • Factores socioeconómicos asociados con la compra ilegal de productos de tabaco en Panamá. Víctor H Herrera-Ballesteros, Julio Zúñiga, Ilais Moreno, Beatriz Gómez, Reina Roa-Rodríguez
  • Advertising of tobacco products at point of sale: who are more exposed in Brazil?. Adriana Bacelar Ferreira-Gomes, Lenildo de Moura, Silvânia Suely de Araújo-Andrade, Felipe Lacerda-Mendes, Cristina A Perez, Zohra Abaakouk
  • Diez años del Convenio Marco de la OMS para el Control del Tabaco: avances en Las Américas. Blanco A, Sandoval R,  Martinez L,  Caixeta R

 cigarrillos y graficoWith its tremendous health and economic costs, the tobacco epidemic has the potential to undermine both social and economic development. The relative paucity of country- and region-specific evidence on the economic aspects of tobacco control has been a challenge when advocating for tobacco control policies in the Americas. The new thematic issue on  Economics of Tobacco Control in the Americas, published in the Panamerican Journal of Public Health, expands the evidence base for using economic analysis on tobacco control and health policies, with a focus on fiscal measures.

This thematic issue provides region and country -specific evidence on:

  • The impact of tax increases on demand for tobacco products.
  • The costs of the tobacco epidemic.
  • Tobacco consumption by income level groups.

This publication aims to expand the evidence base and shed light on existing gaps in order to promote tobacco control policy implementation.

Click on the image to access to the thematic issue:

portada web tobacco issue

Launch of Economics of Tobacco Control

The thematic issue on Economics of Tobacco Control will be launch at PAHO headquarters on Tuesday, 22 November 2016. The event will be available via Webex in the links below.

 Experts around the Region talk about the new thematic issue "Economics of Tobacco Control"

(in Spanish)