Tobacco, secondhand smoke (SHS), and alcohol, all carcinogens, are leading preventable cancer risk factors in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Since 2000, smoking and SHS exposure have significantly decreased in the region. Yet alcohol consumption remains high. The entry of nicotine-related products such as electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) threatens achievements made in tobacco control and chronic diseases prevention, including cancer. E-cigs use is likely associated with smoking initiation among adolescents who had never smoked and dual use with combustible tobacco products. Therefore, the LAC Code Against Cancer recommends to the public actions they can take to reduce their risk of cancer: 1. Don't smoke or use any type of tobacco. If you do, quitting is possible, with professional help if needed. Don't use e-cigarettes either, as they lead to tobacco use. 2. Make your home a smoke-free place. Respect and promote laws that ensure smoke-free spaces to protect our health. and 3. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages. This helps prevent several types of cancer. The Code recommends to policymakers a package of cost-effective policies based on the MPOWER and SAFER to prevent cancer at the population level. It also recommends that primary care health professionals: 1. Ask all their patients and their families whether they smoke or vape, inform them about the harms of smoking and vaping, and promote tobacco and nicotine related products cessation strategies among users. 2. Inform about the harms of exposure to SHS, especially among children, and promote smoke-free environments, and 3. Prevent alcohol use by their patients and their families, use tools to assess use, intensity, and frequency, and apply brief counseling intervention to support alcohol abstinence in primary care.
- Cancer prevention
- Latin America and the Caribbean Code Against Cancer
- Secondhand smoke
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research