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How do you say “Industry Interference” in Spanish?

March 10, 2011


Strong and effective tobacco control laws in several Latin America countries, including Peru and Honduras, have been challenged recently and they’re at risk of being weakened.

In Honduras, just two days after a comprehensive national tobacco control law went into effect, the Honduran Congress amended it to shrink pictorial health warnings on tobacco packages from covering 80 percent of the pack to 50 percent. The lawmakers also gave the tobacco industry three extra, and unnecessary, months to meet the new warning label requirements. Why the sudden step back less than 48 hours after a law was approved?

In Peru, an individual representing some Peruvian citizens filed a lawsuit against the Legislature challenging the constitutionality of parts of the country’s smoke-free law. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, so any rollback of the smoke-free law puts the citizens of Peru at increased risk of lung cancer, heart disease, and serious respiratory conditions.

What mysterious force could be causing this back-tracking?

Certainly not those who seek to protect public health. Perhaps it is those who are trying to protect tobacco industry profits.