Advances in tobacco control in the Region of the Americas, 2020

Sandoval et al.

This report describes the current status of the tobacco control measures contained in the Strategy and Plan of Action to Strengthen Tobacco Control in the Region of the Americas 2018-2022 (Pan American Health Organization) and the advances made in its application, identifying achievements from 2016 to 2020 and challenges that still need to be addressed in order to reach the expected goals. This analysis relied on data from the World Health Organization (WHO) Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic from 2015, 2017, and 2019, and national regulations were analyzed to determine their consistency with WHO criteria. Significant progress has been made in implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in the Americas. By 2020, most countries had regulations on 100% smoke-free environments in indoor public places, workplaces, and public transport, and large graphic health warnings on tobacco packaging. The number of countries that ban tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship and that tax tobacco at the minimum level recommended by WHO has doubled since 2016. However, the 2022 targets have not yet been reached for any of these measures or for ratification of the relevant international agreements. Although progress has been made in the Region, it has not been uniform. Unless the pace of application of the tobacco control measures contained in the Strategy and Plan of Action accelerates, it is unlikely that its targets will be met. Tobacco industry interference remains one of the main challenges.

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Special report