San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Country Asked to Ratify Anti-Tobacco Treaty

AN international coalition of nonprofitorganizations launched a campaign thisweek asking the governments of CostaRica, Brazil and Ecuador to ratify a globalanti-tobacco treaty.The Costa Rican nonprofit AMBIOFoundation says it is working closely withCorporate Accountability Internationaland other members of the Network forAccountability of Tobacco Transnationals(NATT) to coordinate a visit to CostaRica by representatives of the network forthe campaign.Network members will participate inactivities exposing the alleged interferenceof the tobacco industry in publichealth policy, according to AMBIO.In each of the three countries, publichealth defenders and consumers will callout for legislators to support the first publichealth treaty, said a statement fromAMBIO.In Costa Rica, a roundtable discussionwill be held in the Ex-President’s Roomat the Legislative Assembly June 2 to discussthe treaty, which is under study inthe assembly, according to AMBIO representativeCarolina Rodríguez.She said Ombudsman José ManuelEchandi and National Liberation Party(PLN) legislator Laura Chinchilla willattend the roundtable to defend the treaty,which went into effect Feb. 27 in morethan 65 countries including Mexico, ElSalvador, Honduras, Perú, Uruguay,France and South Africa, among others.The treaty, formally known as theFramework Treaty for Tobacco Control(CMCT), “will save millions of lives andchange the way tobacco companies operatearound the world,” said the statement.For National Day Without Tobacco,celebrated May 31, Costa Rica’s Instituteof Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (IAFA)has organized a “Walk for a Smoke-FreeCountry.”Walkers will depart from IAFA’s mainentrance in San Pedro, east of San José, at9 a.m. For more information call IAFA at224-6122.

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