Tobacco Industry Interference and public tobacco control policies during COVID-19 in Argentina: Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index 2021
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Fundación Interamericana del Corazón (FIC), Buenos Aires, Argentina
Publication date: 2021-12-10
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2021;7(Supplement):31
Argentina has one of the highest tobacco consumption rates in the Latin America. Since 2011, the National Tobacco Control Law (NTCL) has proven to be insufficient to limit tobacco industry (TI) interference. Compounding this situation is the lack of ratification of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and thus the lack of protection of tobacco control policies from IT commercial interests. The Global TI Interference Index provides information on how the Argentine government acts in relation to the TI interference.

The questionnaire developed by the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance based on the provisions of Art.5.3 of the FCTC was used and a scoring system was applied to perform the assessment. The study is based on Argentinian tobacco control regulation and publicly available information for the period 2020 and the first quarter of 2021.

Compared to the Global Index published in 2020, Argentina has worsened in many ways in terms of transparency since the COVID-19 pandemic. This investigation proved that government officials and the TI had met in different opportunities, and various State's agencies have participated together with non-governmental organizations sponsored by the TI. Furthermore, the TI interference detected has affected the design, planning and implementation of tobacco control policies throughout the country.

Through this research, it becomes clear that there is a need to modify the NTCL in order to completely ban all forms of tobacco products marketing. Moreover, Argentina should ratify the FCTC to guarantee the protection of the right to health. Finally, the government should develop a Code of Conduct which includes clear and binding guidelines; thus restricting interactions between public officials and the TI.

No Conflicts of Interest were reported.