Statement on the passing of Dr Tabaré Vázquez, former president of Uruguay

07 Dec 2020

Statement from Leslie Rae Ferat, Acting Executive Director, and Eduardo Bianco, Regional Coordinator, AMRO, Framework Convention Alliance, on the passing of Dr. Tabaré Vázquez, former president of Uruguay

It is with deep regret that Framework Convention Alliance (FCA) was informed of the passing Dr. Tabaré Vázquez, the former president of Uruguay.

Where tobacco control is concerned, President Vázquez was not only a symbol of vision and courage around the world, but a pioneer. Under his leadership, and in collaboration with civil society organizations like FCA, Uruguay pushed for implementation of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and in 2006 became the first country in the Americas to go smoke-free. In 2008, they also became the first country worldwide to set 80% health warning labels.

Most notably, in 2016, President Vázquez challenged Philip Morris at the ICSID of the World Bank and defeated the multinational tobacco company. In doing so, Uruguay was able to uphold the single presentation requirement and the size of its health warning labels. That was not only a massive victory for tobacco control efforts in Uruguay but it also affirmed the importance of the WHO FCTC and its efforts to promote health and wellness. It also encouraged other countries to implement their own tobacco control policies.

Well known for his efforts, President Vázquez received several much deserved honours over the years including being named the Public Health Hero of the Americas by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and the WHO Director-General’s Special Recognition for World No Tobacco Day.

Please join us in celebrating the life of President Vázquez, a leader who truly cared for public health and the betterment of society.




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