Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
GARCIA RUIZ, María A. et al. Tobacco control initiatives in Colombia's Congress, 1992-2007. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2009, vol.25, n.6, pp. 471-480. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892009000600002.
OBJECTIVES: To review tobacco bills introduced in Colombia's Congress and to compare these proposed measures to those of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). METHODS: Bills on tobacco-related products in the Congress of the Republic of Colombia in July 1992-July 2007 were identified from the records of the Senate and the House of Representatives' Legal Office. Eighteen semistructured interviews of key players were conducted and the debate proceedings of three bills were observed. RESULTS: Eighteen bills were evaluated; none was comprehensive-even when FCTC measures were included, these were partial or went in a different direction, indicating little awareness of the most effective tobacco control measures. Little compromise was observed on the part of the Congress, the Executive Branch, or the authors who were themselves seeking approval of the proposal. None of these bills became law. CONCLUSIONS: The tobacco bills in the Colombian Congress during the study period could not ensure the development of legislation that is sufficiently effective in controlling tobacco in the country and could not provide a successful journey through a rigorous legislative process. Bills must be comprehensive, even when measures evolve gradually, and more attention must be given to the legislative process that must be completed for approval.
Keywords : Legislation as topic; control and sanitary supervision of tobacco-derived products; Colombia.