a civil society alliance for combatting chronic disease in the caribbean

Healthy Caribbean Coalition - Cigarette labeling policies in Latin America and the Caribbean: progress and obstacles

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Ernesto M Sebrié, MD, MPH, Adriana Blanco, MD, Stanton A Glantz, PhD.


Objective: To describe cigarette labeling policies in Latin America and the Caribbean as of August 2010.

Material and Methods: Review of tobacco control legislation of all 33 countries of the region; analysis of British American Tobacco (BAT)’s corporate social reports; analysis of information from cigarette packages collected in 27 countries.

Results: In 2002, Brazil became the first country in the region to implement pictorial health warning labels on cigarette packages. Since then, six more countries adopted pictorial labels. The message content and the picture style vary across countries. Thirteen countries have banned brand descriptors and nine require a qualitative label with information on constituents and emissions. Tobacco companies are using strategies commonly used around the world to block the effective implementation of WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)’s Article 11.

Conclusions: Since 2002, important progress has been achieved in the region. However, countries that have ratified the FCTC have not yet implemented all the recommendations of Article 11 Guidelines.

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