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Anales de la Facultad de Ciencias Médicas (Asunción)

Print version ISSN 1816-8949

An. Fac. Cienc. Méd. (Asunción) vol.51 no.1 Asunción Apr. 2018 


The tobacco control, that pending subject

Víctor San Martín1 

1 Facultad de Ciencias Médicas. Universidad Nacional de Asunción. Asunción, Paraguay

The problem of tobacco smoking causes numerous health problems in the Paraguayan population 1, which also affects the University 2. It has been more than half a century ago 3 fully demonstrated that its consumption or the mere involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke generates a high risk of suffering pathologies related to it and, dying of one of the more than 20 diseases that it produces 4. Tobacco products are directly related to cardiovascular, oncological and respiratory diseases, coincidentally those that cause the most deaths in our country. And in that sense, Health professionals can get more involved to defend the health of our patients and society in general.

For anyone who reads the Law 2969/06 5 that put in force in our country the Framework Convention for the Control of Tobacco (FCTC), the first World Public Health Treaty, for compliance in Paraguay, it is clear that more than a decade ago all forms of advertising and sponsorship of tobacco products should be eliminated here(however at this time the mass media are saturated with it), all packs should have graphic warnings of the effects of tobacco so that children have the opportunity to understand what they are exposed to, the treatments for those who want to get rid of the addiction should be more accessible, increase in taxes to discourage consumption and increase revenue 6 among other measures.

The motto of the World Day of Tobacco Free 2018, which was celebrated on May 31 is "Tobacco and Heart Disease". Consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke is an important risk factor for coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease 7.

While this is widely known among health professionals, large sections of the population do not receive medical advice and adequate treatment to stop smoking. We must prevent children from starting to smoke and help with all our strength and knowledge those who want to get rid of nicotine.

Cessation treatment for smokers has proven to be very cost effective 8 and should be applied at the national level, to reduce the number of diseases 9,10, absenteeism, fires and deaths caused by smoking, as well as the immense expenses that these generate in our public health system, I.P.S., Clínicas Hospital of de Facultad de Ciencias Medicas of the U.N.A., and other hospital services.

Beyond the economic 11 and political 12 interests that are always involved in the debates about the lucrative business of cigarettes, the general interest of protecting the health of the population, as well as the fulfillment of the international commitments assumed by Paraguay, should prevail. As long as this does not happen, we will continue to lament the premature deaths caused by tobacco products


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2. Caballero A, Miltos P, Larán V, San Martín V, Calderoli F. Valoración de prevalencia de tabaquismo en universitarios según auto-reporte y medición de monóxido de carbono exhalado. RAMR 2015;3:213-215. [ Links ]

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4. U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Smoking and Health. Report of the Advisory Committee to Surgeon General of the Public Health Service. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health Education and Walfare/Public Health Service, 1964; PHS Publication No. 1103. [ Links ]

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9. Nagelhout G, Popova L, Kuipers M. Why Are New Tobacco Control Interventions Needed?. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 658; doi:10.3390/ijerph15040658. [ Links ]

10. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2014. “The Health Consequences of Smoking: 50 Years of Progress. A Report of the Surgeon General.” Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health. Disponible en: ]

11. National Cancer Institute (NCI), in collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO) . 2016. Monograph 21: The Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Control. Bethesda, Md.: U.S. 38 // References The Economics of Tobacco Taxation and Employment in Indonesia Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health. Disponible en: ]

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