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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Attempts to undermine tobacco control: tobacco industry "youth smoking prevention" programs to undermine meaningful tobacco control in Latin America


We sought to understand how the tobacco industry uses "youth smoking prevention" programs in Latin America. We analyzed tobacco industry documents, so-called "social reports," media reports, and material provided by Latin American public health advocates. Since the early 1990s, multinational tobacco companies have promoted "youth smoking prevention" programs as part of their "Corporate Social Responsibility" campaigns. The companies also partnered with third-party allies in Latin America, most notably nonprofit educational organizations and education and health ministries. Even though there is no evidence that these programs reduce smoking among youths, they have met the industry's goal of portraying the companies as concerned corporate citizens and undermining effective tobacco control interventions that are required by the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

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