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Colombia

Harm

Tobacco harms the health, the treasury, and the spirit of Colombia. Every year more than 26600 of it's people are killed by tobacco-caused disease, while more than 218000 children and more than 3948000 adults continue to use tobacco each day. Complacency in the face of the tobacco epidemic will ensure the tobacco industry continues to run roughshod over the lives of Colombia's citizens and ensure that tobacco's death toll will grow with each passing year. Tobacco control advocates must reach out to other communities to strengthen their efforts in this mortal fight.

Deaths

% caused by tobacco: 2010

13% of Men

Even though fewer men die on average in Colombia than other middle-income countries, still 325 men are being killed by tobacco every week, necessitating action from policymakers.

10.7% of Women

More women die in Colombia than on average in middle-income countries.

Tobacco use also...

Harms Development

Buying tobacco robs families of the resources they need to rise out of poverty. A smoker in Colombia would have to spend 3.6% the of national median income to purchase 10 of the cheapest cigarettes to smoke each day!

Harms Environment

Cigarette butts are the most commonly discarded piece of waste worldwide. It is estimated that 1.69 billion pounds of butts wind up as toxic trash, which is roughly equivalent to the weight of 177,895 endangered African elephants.

Harms Equality

To find more customers, the tobacco industry markets its products aggressively to women and children.

Harms NCDs

People living with mental illness are nearly twice as likely to smoke as other persons.

Industry

The combined revenues of the world's 6 largest tobacco companies in 2013 was USD342 Billion, equal to 93% of the Gross National Income of Colombia. The industry is a powerful force that does not fear the actions of smaller nation-states because their resources are often much larger. Larger economies have the opportunity to help the smaller allies face down this threat.

Market

Adult Smoking % using tobacco daily, 2013

17.3%of Men

Even though fewer men smoke on average in Colombia than on average in middle-income countries, still 2934000 men still smoke cigarettes each day, the sign of an ongoing and dire public health threat.

5.6%of Female

Even though fewer women smoke on average in Colombia than on average in middle-income countries, still 1014000 women still smoke cigarettes each day, the sign of an ongoing and dire public health threat.

Children Smoking % using tobacco daily, 2013

11.9%of Boys

More boys smoke in Colombia than on average in middle-income countries.

7.9%of Girls

More girls smoke in Colombia than on average in middle-income countries.

Smokeless% currently using tobacco, 2013 or most recent

n/a%of Adults

Because we do not know the prevalence of smokeless tobacco use in Colombia, future surveillance efforts must measure smokeless tobacco use prevalence in the population to help inform future tobacco control efforts.

Solutions

Tobacco control policy is an excellent investment in the health of a country's population. According to the WHO, for less than COL$210 per person per year Colombia will be able to pay for the four 'best buys' in tobacco control policy, raising tobacco excise taxes, enforcing a comprehensive national smoke-free law and a ban on tobacco advertising and promotion, and mandating large graphic warning labels appear on tobacco product packaging. This small investment will reap enormous dividends in health and prosperity.

Current Policy in Colombia

Protect From Smoke

Smokefree HealthCare FacilitiesYes
Smokefree UniversitiesYes
Smokefree Government FacilitiesYes
Smokefree Indoor OfficesYes
Smokefree RestaurantsYes
Smokefree Pubs and BarsYes
Smokefree Public TransportYes
All Other Indoor Public Places SmokefreeYes
Funds for Smokefree EnforcementNo

Offer Help

Quitting SolutionsNRT and/or some cessation services (neither cost-covered)
National QuitlineNo

Warn about the dangers to tobacco users on product packaging

Type of Warning Labels

Australia(best practice)

Graphic

Colombia

Graphic

Percent of Pack Covered

Australia(best practice)

83%

Colombia

30%

Graphic Warning Rounds

Australia(best practice)

2

Colombia

3

Has Plain/Standardized Packaging

Australia(best practice)

Yes

Colombia

No

Warn about the dangers to whole population in a media campaign

Ran a national anti-tobacco campaign during 2011 and 2012

WHO Best Practice

Yes

Colombia

Yes

Part Of A Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program

WHO Best Practice

Yes

Colombia

No

Pre-Tested With The Target Audience

WHO Best Practice

Yes

Colombia

No

Target Audience Research Was Conducted

WHO Best Practice

Yes

Colombia

Yes

Aired On Television And/Or Radio

WHO Best Practice

Yes

Colombia

Yes

Utilized Media Planning

WHO Best Practice

Yes

Colombia

Yes

Earned Media/Public Relations Were Used To Promote The Campaign

WHO Best Practice

Yes

Colombia

Yes

Process Evaluation Was Used To Assess Implementation

WHO Best Practice

Yes

Colombia

Yes

Outcome Evaluation Was Used To Assess Effectiveness

WHO Best Practice

Yes

Colombia

No

Enforce bans on advertising

Number of Bans on Forms of Direct Advertising3 of a possible 7 bans
Number of Bans on Forms of Indirect Advertising7 of a possible 7 bans
Ad Ban Compliance Percent70% self-rated compliance

Raise Taxes

Excise Tax as a % of Cigarette Price

WHO Benchmark

75% of Retail Price is Excise Tax

Colombia

30% of Retail Price is Excise Tax

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