It is our pleasure to invite you to enter your journalistic works in the Eighth Interamerican "Vital Aire Vital" Journalism Contest.  The theme of this eighth contest is "Tobacco Dependence Treatment" supporting Article 14 of the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).


Tobacco use causes hundreds of thousands of deaths every year in Latin America and the Caribbean. Hundreds of thousands more in this region are left with serious and debilitating health consequences.  Latin America and the Caribbean have taken important steps towards adopting tobacco control and prevention measures.  In particular, tobacco control policies following the requirements and guidelines of the FCTC, the first public health treaty in history, have had a strong impact in many countries.  This treaty is currently subscribed by over 90 percent of the world's countries.

Many of these achievements would not have been possible without the continuous support, conviction and courage of many journalists who have presented the facts and influenced the public as well as government and business leaders. Journalists reach those that hold great economic and political power in our societies. Without these journalists, tobacco control policies would not have been approved or adequately developed, and the health of the population would have suffered as a result. Despite the fact that important progress has been made, the path toward tobacco control is frequently filled with obstacles. This is why we believe that it is important to reward and stimulate the actions of journalists whose work helps advance tobacco control.

For these reasons, the InterAmerican Heart Foundation continues to organize the "Aire Vital Air" Contest for Journalists. This eighth call has been organized in collaboration with Global Bridges Healthcare Alliance for Tobacco Dependence Treatment. The contest focuses on helping smokers quit, supporting health professionals to incorporate treatment of tobacco dependence as part of their clinical practice, and creating the infrastructure to facilitate treatment.  We know that stopping the use of tobacco, whether smoking or smokeless, improves life expectancy and reduces the risk of disability. The earlier a person quits smoking, the greater the benefits. Article 14 of the FCTC requires measures to promote tobacco cessation and the treatment of those with tobacco dependence. Guidelines for the implementation of Article 14 were approved in November 2010 specifying steps to ensure wide access to treatment support and identifies key measures needed to achieve this.

Awards will be given to recognize journalistic works appearing between July 1, 2011 and March 1, 2013 within the following categories: print media (dailies, magazines, supplements), radio, television and internet.  Individuals may nominate the work(s) of another with written consent from the journalist whose work(s) are being nominated.  The awards will include $1000 (U.S.) for the winner in each category and an additional $1000 for the overall winner (to be chosen from the 4 winners). Honorable mentions for the best entry from each country will also be given, excluding those that have already received one of the main awards.

Registration begins on September 29, 2012 (World Heart Day, as declared by the World Heart Federation) and continues until April 15, 2013.  Please visit for contest rules and to submit your entry.  Contact for more information.