People have died from tobacco-related diseases since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.
- August 13, 2014
Medical institutions in the Dominican Republic have signed a manifesto that calls for an increase in tobacco taxes in the country.
The groups note that raising the price of tobacco products is recognised as one of the most effective ways to cut consumption of current tobacco users. It also discourages potential smokers, especially children and youth, from starting.
“The next steps will be to work with legislators and to keep trying to raise awareness among decision makers, both public and private,” said Dr Sergio Diaz of the Primary Care Centre Juan XXIII in Santiago, Dominican Republic.
The other organizations involved include:
- Dominican Pulmonology Society
- Dominican Cardiology Society
- Dominican Oncology Society
- Centre for Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease
- Dominican Association of Medical Interns and
- Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra.
At an event to mark World No Tobacco Day, the organisations also cited a 2010 study from the World Health Organization that concluded increasing tobacco taxes by 50 percent in 22 low-income countries would generate US$1.4 billion.
“If those funds were devoted to health care, health spending by governments of these countries could increase by up to 50 percent,” added the manifesto.
According to World Health Organization estimates from 2003, 16 percent of adults in the Dominican Republic were current smokers.
Dominican Republic is one of six countries in the Americas region that are not parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The treaty has 178 Parties representing nearly 90 percent of the world’s population.
The FCTC includes a series of measures for reducing tobacco use, including:
- Increasing tobacco taxes
- Introducing 100-percent smoke-free public spaces
- Banning tobacco advertising
- Requiring pictorial health warnings on cigarette packages.