Salud Pública de México
Print version ISSN 0036-3634
ZABERT, Gustavo; CHATKIN, José Miguel and PONCIANO-RODRIGUEZ, Guadalupe. Reflections on smoking intervention opportunities In Latin America. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2010, vol.52, suppl.2, pp. S283-S287. ISSN 0036-3634. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0036-36342010000800025.
The tobacco epidemic is a huge public health problem affecting all Latin American countries. These countries have the characteristic of a wide base of the pyramidal population structure, with many young people who have been natural targets for the tobacco industry. Therefore in this region there is an urgent need to establish prevention and treatment strategies capable to reduce incidence and prevalence of tobacco smoking in the population and as a consequence modify the health effects of tobacco consumption. Treating nicotine addiction requires intervention strategies really effective to reduce the number of current smokers as well as giving them tools to avoid relapse and maintain abstinence. Currently poor and vulnerable groups, which represent 44% of the total population in Latin America, are the most susceptible to suffer the health consequences of smoking since they show the highest prevalence rates and have little or no access to health services. The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and MPOWER, both strategies proposed by the World Health Organization against tobacco, define clear goals to achieve their purposes, nevertheless they are limited by the economic and human resources assigned by each country. The scientific community involved in the fight against tobacco must think about new ways to place this issue in the political agenda so there will be more opportunities to increase the resources and therefore to reduce tobacco consumption in all the groups of the population. In the fight against tobacco, this is the right time to consider primarily issues related to equity and social justice.
Keywords : tobbacco; smoking cessation; intervention; guidelines of treatment; FCTC; MPOWER.