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Panama praises Uruguay’s role in cracking down on smoking

Panama City, Feb 9 (Prensa Latina) Panama praised on Friday Uruguay’s regional role in cracking down on smoking as that nation has been pursuing early policies to control tobacco use to thwart addiction.

Amid the sessions of the 10th Conference of the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), Dr. Miguel Azqueta explained to Prensa Latina that his country was a forerunner in applying regulatory standards.

The creation of 100% smoke-free environments, including enclosed public and private spaces, as well as the limitation of smoking in open places in educational and health facilities, stand out among those first measures, Azqueta stressed.

Health warnings and regulations on high cigarette prices and taxes further marked a before and after in the fight against smoking, the expert revealed.

The use of new technologies to measure smoking cessation and new ways to move towards a ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship are other initiatives that place Uruguay at the forefront of this effort. Regarding the new emerging products and their impact on youth, a controversial issue here, the physician pointed out that youngsters are the gateway and the tobacco industry was very clear about it 100 years ago and now.

The industry researches and develops increasingly innovative products, away from the traditional deliveries associated with tobacco itself, and creates electronic nicotine delivery systems that can stimulate dual consumption, which should define clear policies, including within the COP10, Azqueta deemed as he urged the remaining nations for signing the FCTC.

Concerning this event that finishes on Saturday, with the participation of over 180 countries, he described it as an ideal space to exchange practices and experiences.