Commemorations around “World No Tobacco Day”

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This post was written by and Paula Avila Guillen (Institute Associate) and Belen Rios (Research Assistant, Global Health LL.M. ‘13) at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. Any questions or comments about this post can be directed to pa390@law.georgetown.edu 


World-No-Tobacco-Day-Graphics-1On Friday May 31st, as we mentioned in our blog, all around the globe, tobacco control advocates celebrated World No Tobacco Day. This initiative was created by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1988 to inform the public about the damages of tobacco consumption, the practices of the tobacco industry, and what the WHO is doing to fight the tobacco epidemic, among others. Every year the WHO chooses a topic in order to develop campaigns that will draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the actions that are needed in order to stop the epidemic. Previous topics include gender and tobacco, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), and the tobacco  industry’s interference. This year the topic was key: banning tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. 

According to the WHO, “evidence shows that comprehensive advertising bans lead to reductions in the numbers of people starting and continuing smoking. Statistics show that banning tobacco advertising and sponsorship is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce tobacco demand and thus a tobacco control ‘best buy.’” Read More

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Bolivia’s Health at a Crossroad: USAID Is Expelled and Bolivia Launches Its Own Health Program

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Fuera USAID de Bolivia

Cambio (www.cambio.bo)

Only days after the Bolivian Constitutional Court ruled that Evo Morales could run for a third consecutive term in 2014, on May 1, Morales announced USAID’s expulsion from Bolivian soil–another one of Morales’ efforts to decrease U.S. presence and influence in the country (he expelled the U.S. Ambassador and the Drug Enforcement Agency in 2008). Morales accused USAID of conspiring against the Bolivian government and explained that through the expulsion of USAID, the Bolivian government would be “nationalizing” the dignity of the Bolivian people. Since becoming president in 2005, Morales has been using May 1st (Bolivia’s Labor Day) to announce the nationalization of industries. For example, in 2006, Morales signed a decree nationalizing gas reserves in the country, and last year, Morales announced the nationalization of the electric grid. Read More

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O’Neill Institute’s 100th Post – A Look Back

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In honor of the O’Neill Institute’s 100th blog post, we present a “top ten” list of some of our most memorable posts:

1. The Supreme Court Upholds the Affordable Care Act Upheld: The Individual Mandate is a Tax. States Have a Choice Whether to Expand Medicaid  (June 2012).

2. New York’s Ban on Large Sodas: Just What Common Sense Requires  (March 2013).

3. A Bad News Week for Women and HIV Prevention (October 2011).

4. Tobacco and Poverty (February 2013).

5. Swifter, Higher, Stronger…Fatter?: The Olympic Games and Junk Food Advertising to Children (August 2012).

6. Documenting the Food Safety Crisis—Discovering “the Jungle” in China (June 2011).

7. Tobacco Control and International Trade in Africa (August 2011).

8. Updating the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program for a New Era: Examining critical issues facing this major program in the domestic HIV response (April 2013).

9. Could a Romney Administration Really Dismantle the ACA “On Day One”? (November 2012).

10. God Bless America, a Nation Founded by Men Who Could Not Foresee the Glock and the 33 Round Clip (February 2013).

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Latino Population in the U.S. Disproportionately Affected by the Obesity Crisis

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Salud AmericaRecently, there have been a number of studies showing that the Latino population in the United States is disproportionately affected by obesity.  With Latinos as the fastest–growing ethnic group in the United States, this critical public health issue must be addressed sooner rather than later.  As evidence on the impact of obesity on the Latino community continues to emerge, policymakers may be forced to grapple with this difficult issue and design effective strategies that promote healthy eating and physical activity amongst a growing Latino population.    

 What does recent research say? Obesity rates in the Latino population are high, with Latino adults 14 percent more likely to be obese than non-Latino adults.  And, although believed partly to be due to genetics, twice as many Latino adults as non-Latino white adults have diabetes.  Despite immigrating to the United States, research suggests that Latino immigrant health suffers due to the adoption of unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, including smoking, drinking, unhealthy diets, and physical inactivity.  In fact, the longer Latin American immigrants have lived in the United States, the worse their health becomes and the higher their rates of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.  Studies show that Latinos born outside of the United States now live about three years longer their American-born counterparts. Read More

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World No Tobacco Day 2013

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Tobacco ControlIn honor of World No Tobacco Day 2013, we wanted to share the O’Neill Institute’s Global Tobacco Control project.

According to the World Health Organization, tobacco kills nearly 6 million people per year.  This includes more than 600, 000 nonsmokers who will die from exposure to tobacco smoke.  Unchecked, the tobacco epidemic will kill more than eight million a year by 2030.  Tobacco use causes and contributes to cancer, heart disease, asthma and other illnesses – it is a risk factor for six of the eight leading causes of deaths in the world.

The O’Neill Institute is a leader in the effort to reduce global tobacco use. Our work is comprised of three main strategies. First, the O’Neill Institute researches the use of litigation as an approach for reducing tobacco use; litigation is an important tool in forcing industry to comply with domestic and international law as well as encouraging governments to adopt stronger tobacco control laws. Second, in partnership with domestic and international organizations, the O’Neill Institute supports the drafting of shadow reports to accompany States’ Periodic Reports to human rights monitoring bodies. Third, the O’Neill Institute works with advocates in low-and middle-income countries to target rights-based and constitutional arguments to their specific cultural, economic, and political environments.

Some of the resources that the institute has developed for use in global tobacco control include a litigation guide for use in Latin America, a guide to tobacco-control shadow reporting before United Nations human rights bodies, and numerous scholarly publications.

The O’Neill Institute’s work in this area is partially supported by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids as part of the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use.

For more information, please visit http://www.law.georgetown.edu/oneillinstitute/tobacco-control.

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The views reflected in this blog are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent those of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law or Georgetown University. This blog is solely informational in nature, and not intended as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed and retained attorney in your state or country.

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