On May 8-9 I attended in Brasilia, Brazil, the first working meeting of the Pan American Forum for Action on Noncommunicable Diseases (PAFNCD), an initiative of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) that confronts the Noncommunicable (NCD) epidemic in the Americas by mobilizing different interest groups to prevent and control chronic diseases. This meeting of representatives of governments, public and private sectors, civil society and academia was convened to share information, dialogue, and develop strategic alliances involving multiple partners to work together to prevent and control NCDs in the Americas. I participated and presented in the Tobacco Control Working Group which made eight recommendations as next steps for action in the fight against tobacco related NCDs in the Americas:
- Integrating tobacco control and Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) implementation in all NCD strategies at all levels of government and society.
- Integrating the entire UN Task Force at national, regional and international levels.
- Emphasizing tax and price measures to reduce tobacco consumption and also provide much needed revenues for NCD and tobacco control programs.
- Integrating NCDs and tobacco control into the development agenda and adding to new, philanthropic and development funding through national fiscal policies.
- For the private sector, making a commitment to smoke-free worksites.
- For all sectors, recognizing the irreconcilable conflict between public health and the interests of the tobacco industry.
- Coordinating all tobacco related monitoring and reporting mechanisms and including or harmonizing tobacco indicators in NCD surveillance systems.
- For governments to consider including tobacco control cessation programs to be included as part of primary health care reform.