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Tobacco industry successfully prevented tobacco control legislation in Argentina
  1. E M Sebrié1,*,
  2. J Barnoya2,,
  3. E J Pérez-Stable1,,
  4. S A Glantz3,§
  1. 1Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, USA
  2. 2Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California San Francisco, USA
  3. 3Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Stanton A Glantz
 PhD, Box 1390, CL 366, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA; glantzmedicine.ucsf.edu

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate how transnational tobacco companies, working through their local affiliates, influenced tobacco control policymaking in Argentina between 1966 and 2005.

Methods: Analysis of internal tobacco industry documents, local newspapers and magazines, internet resources, bills from the Argentinean National Congress Library, and interviews with key individuals in Argentina.

Results: Transnational tobacco companies (Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, Lorillard, and RJ Reynolds International) have been actively influencing public health policymaking in Argentina since the early 1970s. As in other countries, in 1977 the tobacco industry created a weak voluntary self regulating code to avoid strong legislated restrictions on advertising. In addition to direct lobbying by the tobacco companies, these efforts involved use of third party allies, public relations campaigns, and scientific and medical consultants. During the 1980s and 1990s efforts to pass comprehensive tobacco control legislation intensified, but the organised tobacco industry prevented its enactment. There has been no national activity to decrease exposure to secondhand smoke.

Conclusions: The tobacco industry, working through its local subsidiaries, has subverted meaningful tobacco control legislation in Argentina using the same strategies as in the USA and other countries. As a result, tobacco control in Argentina remains governed by a national law that is weak and restricted in its scope.

  • BAT, British American Tobacco
  • COMFER, Comité Federal de Radiodifusión (Federal Radio Broadcasting Committee)
  • CTI, Chamber of Tobacco Industry
  • ETS, environmental tobacco smoke
  • FCTC, Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
  • FDA, Food and Drug Administration
  • ICOSI, International Committee on Smoking Issues
  • LALCEC, Liga Argentina de Lucha Contra el Cáncer (Argentinean League Against Cancer)
  • M-P, Massalín-Particulares
  • N-P, Nobleza-Piccardo
  • PM, Philip Morris
  • PMI, Philip Morris International
  • PMLA, Philip Morris Latin America
  • SHS, secondhand smoke
  • TTC, transnational tobacco companies
  • UATA, Unión Anti-Tabáquica Argentina (Argentinean Anti-Tobacco Union)
  • UCSF, University of California San Francisco
  • US, United States
  • WHO, World Health Organization
  • Latin America
  • legislation
  • public policy
  • advertising
  • warning labels

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Footnotes

  • * Also Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Medical Effectiveness Research Center for Diverse Populations, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California San Francisco

  • Also Medical Effectiveness Research Center for Diverse Populations, and UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center,

  • Also Unidad de Cirugía Cardiovascular de Guatemala, and Medical Effectiveness Research Center for Diverse Populations

  • § Also Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, and UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center

  • Competing interests: none declared

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