The Tobacco Epidemic
Despite being a global leader in tobacco control, Brazil still has nearly 23 million smokers (14.7 % of the population). 18.9% of men and 11% of women smoke.
Approximately 14.4% of adults are exposed to second-hand smoke in their workplace and 14.7% of adults are exposed to second-hand smoke in their home. Prior to enactment of the 2011 smokefree law, one quarter of Brazilians were exposed to second-hand smoke in their workplace.
More than 156,000 people die from tobacco use each year. More than one in every seven men and one in every 17 women who dies in Brazil die because of tobacco use. There were over 1 million tobacco-attributable hospitalisations in Brazil from 1996 to 2005.
The tobacco epidemic also costs Brazil US $17 billion/year in direct and indirect costs.
Brazil is the world's largest tobacco leaf producer and third-largest tobacco producers, along with China and India.
Policies in Place
Brazil became a party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in 2006.
The primary national law regarding tobacco is Law No. 9.294 (July 16, 1996), regulating smoking in public places, TAPS and packaging and labelling of tobacco products. Over a dozen amendments, provisional measures, regulations and resolutions to the law have been adopted since 1996. These laws:
- Prohibit smoking in all enclosed public places, workplaces, aircraft and vehicles of public transportation.
- Prohibit all tobacco advertising and promotion, excluding point of sale. There are some restrictions on sponsorship.
- Require a set of 9 Graphic Health Warnings to cover 100% of the front and back of packaging and be rotated every 5 months.
- Increased the tax on tobacco as a percent of retail price to over 60%.
- Allow sub-national regulations that are stricter than the national law.
The Union's achievements
In Brazil, The Union has been supporting the National Cancer Institute (INCA) through its National Commission for FCTC implementation in Brazil – CONICQ and the world’s first government-run tobacco industry observatory managed by the Center for Studies on Tobacco and Health (CETAB) at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ). Also, The Union collaborates to promote a stronger tobacco taxation, the adoption of the plain packaging, an effective ban on additives and point-of-sale exhibition, and to support policies to create a tobacco control funds to compensate for smoking-related healthcare costs at federal and subnational levels.
The National Cancer Institute (INCA), a Union grantee, contributed to the legal and technical foundation for a bill of law prohibiting the advertisement of and use of flavourings and additives in cigarettes and other tobacco products, and establishing standardised tobacco packaging (Legislation- Senate Bill No 769/2015). INCA provided an expert opinion on the constitutionality of plain packaging and conducted a survey on the importance of a ban on point-of-sale tobacco displays.
CONICQ/INCA received the United Nations Interagency Task Force Award. The Minister Health, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, CONICQ's President received the award during the 74th United Nations General Assembly on Sept.23, 2019. The recognition is due to the country's outstanding contribution to NCD prevention.
In Brazil, The Union will continue collaborating to promote a stronger tobacco taxation, the adoption of the plain packaging, an effective ban on additives and point-of-sale exhibition and, support policies to create a tobacco control funds to compensate for smoking-related healthcare costs at federal and subnational levels.