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March 12, 1999


More than 30 countries from different continents will be represented at the International Conference on Children and Tobacco, which will be at the Organization of American States (OAS) headquarters in Washington, D.C., March 18 and 19. This will be the first conference of its kind to deal with the problem of tobacco use among children. The delegates will work together crafting several policies designed to help nations worldwide tackle this problem.

During the International Policy Conference, journalists will be able to interview healthcare policy leaders and experts whose views reflect the nations' objectives of fostering discussion and drawing up policies to confront the pressing problems related to tobacco use among children.

U. S. Democratic Senators Dick Durbin and Ron Wyden and Republican Senator Susan Collins, are co-sponsoring the Conference jointly with the American Cancer Society, American Public Health Association, Tobacco-Free Kids Campaign and the Robert Johnson Wood Foundation. Representatives from the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the OAS will also be taking part in the Conference.

Government delegates, health ministers, parliamentary leaders, and politicians worldwide will also be participating in the discussions and will be available for press, radio and television interviews during the Conference. Latin American delegates that will be in attendance include Senator Elías Murad of Brazil; Guido Giraldi and Mariano Ruiz Esquide, Members of Congress from Chile; Colombia's Deputy Minister of Health, Juan Pablo Uribe; Costa Rican Member of Congress Sonia Villalobos; and Mexicans Roberto Tapia, Santiago Padilla and Mercedes Juan. Please call ahead, at telephone number (202) 458-6824, to schedule interviews with presenters.

The Conference will be held at the Main Building of the Organization of American States (OAS), located at 17th and Constitution Ave, NW, Washington DC. The opening session is at 9:00 a.m. in the Hall of the Americas and will be open to local and international press. The discussions will be closed.