Global Bridges grantees recognized by Bloomberg Philanthropies for collaborative tobacco dependence treatment capacity building, advocacy efforts

Rochester, MN – Seventy-eight percent of Mexico’s 14.9 million smokers want to quit, according to a National Situation Analysis, but tobacco dependence treatment needs a stronger foundation to help them. Global Bridges is thrilled to congratulate the Fundación Interamericana del Corazón México (FIC Mexico) team for receiving a Bloomberg Philanthropies Award for Global Tobacco Control at the 2018 World Conference on Tobacco or Health in recognition of their work to help make treatment more accessible.

Photo courtesy of Bloomberg Philanthropies

FIC México, represented by Juan Núñez Guadarrama, was recognized for its role in strengthening Mexico’s capacity for implementation of evidence-based smoking cessation support through strategic collaboration with the National Commission Against Addiction (Comisión Nacional Contra las Adicciones, or CONADIC), other government partners and key non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The Bloomberg Awards recognize governments or NGOs from low- or middle-income countries “demonstrating excellent progress of achievement in the implementation of MPOWER policies.” The O in MPOWER stands for “offer help to quit tobacco use.”

The FIC México team gathered a coalition of experts with CONADIC to develop a strategy and comprehensive policy in accordance with the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Article 14. These efforts made tobacco dependence treatment more accessible for Mexican citizens and sparked collaborative relationships among numerous health agencies and NGOs for the first time in the country’s history of smoking cessation treatment.

“All together we managed to demonstrate that when proposals to promote health are shared, there cannot be too many participants,” said Guadarrama, coordinator of México’s National Alliance for Tobacco Control. “All of us have something to contribute.”

The project was sponsored by a grant from Global Bridges and Pfizer Independent Grants for Learning and Change (now Pfizer Global Medical Grants). It began with the National Situation Analysis, developed by Dr. Martin Raw and the International Center for Tobacco Cessation in coordination with CONADIC and InterAmerican Heart Foundation (IAHF). The analysis also identified opportunities for stronger tobacco control policy and steered the development of National Guidelines for Tobacco Cessation Services. The enacted guidelines informed capacity-building support beyond established clinics, aiming to motivate a broader group of healthcare professionals to record tobacco use in medical records and offer tobacco dependence treatment. More training opportunities for healthcare professionals and expanded access to treatment help ensure patients receive the support they need to quit tobacco and lead healthier lives.

“What has distinguished FIC Mexico’s work has been its persistence in the face of many political barriers to advancing implementation,” said Dr. Beatriz Champagne, executive director of IAHF. “Creativity and hard work resulted in advances, where others might have given up.”

FIC México’s accomplishments expand opportunities for collaboration and bolster confidence in public-private collaboration to design policies that draw attention to the tobacco epidemic. Guadarrama said the award is especially meaningful because of the international recognition tobacco dependence treatment professionals will receive.

“This year there will be a new government in México, and I hope that the prize will help new decision makers reappraise the importance of tobacco control, for health is also a matter of the political order,” Guadarrama said. “Only a healthy population can be productive and internationally competitive.”


View Bloomberg Philanthropies’ video featuring FIC México’s accomplishments.

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