Challenges in the implementation of the National Tobacco Control Law in Argentina
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Centro de Estudios de Estado y Sociedad (CEDES), Argentina
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A100
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Background and challenges to implementation:
In Argentina the National Tobacco Control Law sanctioned in 2011bans advertising with the exception of point of sales. The federal organization of the country, the lack of appropriate administrative resources and tobacco industry tactics contributed to fail in the implementation and enforcement of the ban.

Intervention or response:
In 2013 several directorates and undersecretaries of the Ministry of Health involved in the enforcement of the national law were brought together by the head of the national tobacco control program to build an administrative and legal procedure assigning responsibilities and competences for the inspection and sanction of the law that until that moment were not among the roles of none of them.

Results and lessons learnt:
After 6 months deliberating the best and legal approach for the enforcement of the law, the Ministerial Resolution 425/2014 was sanctioned by the Minister. The availability of a legal resolution that assigned concrete roles to the parties involved led to the sanction of more than 300 citations and fines during 2014. This new proceeding generated a reaction in the tobacco industry that firstly asked for audiences with authorities of the Ministry of Health and then started to impugn the fines. There was a political will of continuing with the enforcement and none of the industry claims were heard. Since then, tobacco industry had to recur to ordinary justice that rejected their claims too. The start-up of this proceeding generated a change in the pattern of tobacco industry advertising that migrated from full-color billboards to the display of cigarette packs only at point of sales.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
While advocates should fight for improving the law and a complete ban on advertising in Argentina is necessary to take advantage of the resources we already have and guarantee the enforcement of current law.

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