“Retrogression” and “attack on public health”: FA criticism of changes in packaging

The government of Luis Lacalle Pou implemented changes in the regulations on the packaging and plain labeling of cigarettesfor which it enabled the sale of the so-called “soft boxes” that had been prohibited by the Tabaré Vázquez administration, allowed to place the brands on cigarette filters and implemented fines for those who sell contraband brands.

The new regulations sparked criticism from the opposition: mayors Carolina Cosse, Yamandú Orsi, and legislators from the Broad Front (FA) spoke out via Twitter and questioned the government’s decision.

In that sense, Cosse wrote: “Very serious. Attack on public health. Resist and then build.”

For his part, Orsi considered that it is not a “good sign to go back on the smoking issue.”

From the official account of the Broad Front, meanwhile, they affirmed that Uruguay knew how to “be a reference in the world and represented at an international level” for the anti-tobacco fight.

The former director of the Planning and Budget Office (OPP), Álvaro García, described the changes as a “gross setback” and said that it is “one more” of those promoted by the Lacalle Pou government. García warned that “you don’t play with health.”

For his part, Senator Alejandro Sánchez questioned whether the Montepaz company had contributed to the National Party campaign in 2019. “When those who finance the campaigns define public policies, democracy erodes and the political system loses legitimacy,” he assured.

Other senators from the Front, such as Charles Carrera, Enrique Rubio, José Carlos Mahía and Liliam Kechichian, criticized the measure, understanding that it is a “regression”.

The former Undersecretary of Health, Cristina Lustemberg, was also against the changes and assured that they are made “in harmony with the tobacco companies.”

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