Argentina

Background

The government in Argentina has blocked FCTC ratification. At the end of 2008 the current President introduced a new bill that does not follow FCTC guidelines for smokefree legislation, and that allows designated smoking rooms (DSRs) in many public places. For this reason tobacco control advocates are working at subnational level to implement comprehensive smokefree laws. In spite of these obstacles, significant progress is being made.

Smokefree legislation/initiatives

Six provinces and 16 municipalities now have comprehensive smokefree laws, covering more than 13 million people, or around 30% of the population. Most of these laws came into force in 2008, but the municipality of Berazategui became smokefree on 1 January 2009. They are as follows:
• Provinces – Cordoba (2006), Entre Rios (2008), Mendoza (2008), Nequén (2006), Santa Fe (2005), Tucaman (2006)
• Municipalities – Bahía Blanca (2008), Berazategui (2009), Cipolleti (2008), Coronel Dorego (2008), Coronel Rosales (2008), Coronel Suárez (2008), Corrientes (2006), General Roca (2008), Olavarría (2008), Pilar (2008), Puerto Madryn (2008), Resistencia (2007), Rio Grande (2008), Saavedra (2008), Tres Arroyos (2008), Villarino (2008).

The Chamber of Representatives of the Province of Salta has passed the provincial comprehensive smokefree legislation bill, but the Provincial Senate has not ruled yet.

A partial smokefree law is currently in operation in the capital, Buenos Aires. Advocates are working hard to modify the law to make it comprehensive, with the aim of achieving this in 2009.

Smokefree resources available in 2009

1. The Argentina Smokefree Coalition (ALIAR) was created in 2007 and officially launched in May 2008 with the support of a Bloomberg Initiative grant. Since then 80 civil society organizations from across Argentina have joined in order to advocate for smokefree environments. ALIAR has been working to consolidate this network and to continue to empower the Argentinean civil society. For this purpose, tools for advocacy and other documents are available on the new ALIAR website (www.aliarargentina.org) a monthly newsletter updating members on smokefree news from Argentina was launched in February 2009.

During 2008, ALIAR promoted the enaction of new legislation and the effective enforcement of laws already in force. Copies of all smokefree legislation are available on the website.

2. Bloomberg Initiative Grants (see www.tobaccocontrolgrants.org)
Sociedad Italiana de Beneficencia en Buenos Aires (Hospital Italiano)
Project to support the effective enforcement of the recently passed and implemented 100% smokefree provincial-municipal legislation in Tucumán, Santa Fe and Córdoba Provinces and cities of Bahia Blanca and Corrientes; to facilitate the enactment of strong laws in cities or provinces that are close to reaching this goal (Mendoza, Neuquen and Buenos Aires Provinces); and to strengthen capacity and networking among advocates through training, coaching and the creation of a National SmokeFree Environment Coalition.

Secretaria de Salud Publica de la Municipalidad de Rosario [Department of Public Health of the Municipality of Rosario]
Project to raise awareness of the health and economic benefits of the implementation of a 100% smokefree policy in public places and workplaces in the city of Rosario and to raise the level of compliance with the smokefree legislation, in particular in specific venues such as the Schools of the National University of Rosario, pubs and nightclubs, and other private

3. Other grants
Ines Amato received a small grant from ACS to promote 100% smokefree National Universities in Santa Fe (Note: national universities are not included in the provincial law).

Public education materials/implementation or enforcement materials

See Programa Nacional de Control del Tabaco www.msal.gov.ar/htm/site_tabaco/index.asp (in Spanish)
ALIAR has completed three studies on(1) the impact of 100% smokefree legislation on the health of hospitality industry workers in Nequén (2) the impact of 100% smokefree legislation on sales in the hospitality industry in Santa Fe (3) opinions and attitudes about smoking and smokefree environments in 13 Argentinean cities. The findings that health improved and that there were no economic losses has helped promote smokefree environments.

A fourth study is assessing indoor air tobacco pollution in a variety of venues. More than 600 measurements have been collected from 100% smokefree locations.

Factors helping or hindering the implementation of Article 8

The government having blocked FCTC ratification; tobacco industry activities.

Other countries that have influenced smokefree laws
Uruguay – provides a model of how an effectively organized civil society can overcome opposition to smokefree laws.

First, say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. Health Service Food and Human Resources: Cigs4US.biz – Cheap cigarette store

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