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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2403

Strong government commitment helps achieving a significant decline in tobacco smoking in Uruguay

By Manjari Peiris

A study conducted in Uruguay by the Ministry of Health and the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) reveals that Uruguay has significantly reduced smoking over the past nine years, viz. smoking rates have dropped by more than 13 percent among adults - from 25 percent in 2009 to 21.6 percent in 2017.

According to the findings, exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) in homes, workplaces, and in various public places too have significantly declined from 2009 to 2017. In homes (at least weekly) exposure to SHS declined from 29.2 percent to 20. percent, representing a relative decline of 31.5 percent.

In workplaces (in the last 30 days), exposure to SHS declined from 16.5 percent to 11.1 percent, representing a relative decline of 32.8 percent. The largest drop in exposure to SHS in various public places occurred in universities (in the last 30 days) from 27.5 percent to 11.3 percent representing a relative decline of 58.8 percent.

The study also revealed that there was a significant decline in the percentage of adults who noticed any tobacco advertisement, sponsorship, or promotion during the last 30 days from 44.3 percent in 2009 to 34.5 percent in 2017. This represents a relative decline of 22.1 percent. Although significant declines were observed across all age groups, noticing any advertisement, sponsorship, or promotion still remains high among the 15-24-year age group (49.5 percent).

Uruguay’s progress has been spurred by the government’s unwavering commitment to implementing public health measures that are proven to reduce tobacco use and save lives. Once home to some of the highest rates of tobacco use in Latin America, Uruguay has implemented many of the evidence-based tobacco control measures called for by the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), including raising taxes on tobacco products, requiring large, graphic health warnings and prohibiting tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

Uruguay has fought back against high-profile legal challenges to its public health laws from tobacco giant Philip Morris International, achieving landmark victories in both national courts and international arbitration tribunals.

Uruguay is now recognized as a global leader in the fight against tobacco. Uruguay has fought back against high-profile legal challenges to its public health laws from tobacco giant Philip Morris International, achieving landmark victories in both national courts and international arbitration tribunals. These victories and today’s encouraging data are evidence that all countries, regardless of size or wealth, can take on the tobacco industry and improve the health for their citizens.

Source of information: Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Washington, DC.

- Asian Tribune -

Strong government commitment helps achieving a significant decline in tobacco smoking in Uruguay
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