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On the Framework Convention for
Tobacco Control (FCTC)
Panama, August 14, 2001

InterAmerican Heart Foundation
Interamerican Society of Cardiology

   Taking into account that:

• Tobacco represents a public health problem in the Americas.

• In 1998 the World Health Organization and its collaborating centers estimated that there were 1.2 billion smokers in the world, one third of the world population over the age of fourteen. Of these, 800 million smokers live in developing countries or countries with medium to low incomes.

• One of every 12 smokers in the world or 8.9% live in Latin America and the Caribbean, representing a total of 101 million people, 64.1 million men and 37.2 million women. The number of smokers in Latin America and the Caribbean is double the number of smokers in North America, where 53.3 million people smoke, 27.8 million men and 25.5 million women.

• It is anticipated that tobacco will be the main cause of death and premature disability in the world by the year 2030, more than AIDS, drugs or other infirmities. If current trends are sustained, tobacco consumption will be responsible for 10 million deaths worldwide. In other words, tobacco consumption, in any of its forms, today kills one in ten adults. At the current rate of growth, by 2030, one out of every six death worldwide will be due to tobacco consumption. And 7 out of 10 tobacco related deaths will occur in developing countries or countries with low to medium incomes.

• Each smoked cigarette contains 4000 chemical components. Many of these are toxic agents and at least 43 have been identified as direct causes of cancer.

• Many smokers become dependent on nicotine, a psychoactive, addictive substance in all tobacco products.

• The revenues generated from cigarette taxes and taxes on tobacco derivative products do not cover the costs of both: i) treating those affected by tobacco-related illnesses, and ii) lost productivity associated with tobacco-related illnesses.

• In the Americas, there are huge disparities in the strictness of legal measures and the existence of specific institutions dedicated to the prevention and control of tobacco consumption. This allows for increased marketing, distribution and addiction to tobacco and its derivatives in the Caribbean and Latin America.


   The countries of the American Region hereby RESOLVE:

   To support and promote text in the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control that guarantees the adoption of minimum measures to effectively lower tobacco consumption and postpone the age of initiation in young people and other vulnerable groups. The following are such measures:

1. Total Ban on Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
To ban publicity, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products to both adults and children, to the greatest degree possible. This measure must also restrict publicity, promotion and sponsorship beyond national borders to other countries that may have greater restrictions.

2. Public Health over Trade
To ensure that public health, as an essential right of individuals, always takes primacy over any other objective, economic or otherwise, in international trade and agreements.

3. Packaging and Labeling
To provide minimum packaging and labeling regulation that all countries must adopt requiring clear and forceful package warnings in all tobacco products covering al least 50% of the exterior surface of the packages supporting the consumers rights to information. Likewise, to avoid the use of terms such as "light" or "mild" that may create a false perception regarding product safety.

4. Pricing Policy
To adopt pricing policies, prohibit the sale of duty-free cigarettes, and sale of tobacco products through vending machines, which encourage contraband smuggling as well as consumption by young and more vulnerable populations.

5. Protection from second-hand smoke

   To call to action the undersigning country representatives in our region to actively disseminate this declaration and develop coordinated actions with government and non-government entities to jointly work towards the reduction of tobacco consumption and the diseases associated with tobacco addiction.




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2nd Virtual Congress of Cardiology

Dr. Florencio Garófalo
Steering Committee
Dr. Raúl Bretal
Scientific Committee
Dr. Armando Pacher
Technical Committee - CETIFAC

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