Brazil Becomes Largest Country in World to Go Smoke-Free

December 16, 2011

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With Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff signing a comprehensive tobacco control law this week, Brazil has taken historic action to protect its more than 190 million citizens from the deadly toll of tobacco use and secondhand smoke.

The law makes Brazil the most populous country in the world to go smoke-free. It also bans tobacco advertising at point of sale, increases tobacco taxes and requires health warnings on both sides of cigarette packs (current law requires graphic warnings covering the entire back of the pack, but no warning on the front of the pack). Tobacco kills more than 200,000 Brazilians each year, and the new law is a significant step towards a healthier Brazil.

The law will help to save the lives of thousands of Brazilian citizens. It also is the latest example of rapid progress Latin America is making in fighting the tobacco epidemic and standing up to the tobacco industry. Examples include:

  • Brazil joins other twelve countries in Latin America that have implemented 100 percent smoke-free laws.
  • Five countries in Latin America have a tobacco tax at or above two-thirds of the retail price.
  • Including Brazil, seven countries now have graphic warning labels covering at least 30 percent of the cigarette pack.
  • Uruguay has the largest graphic health warnings in the world, covering 80 percent of the cigarette pack.

Tobacco-control legislation is pending in other countries, including Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Chile. Latin America is moving swiftly to save lives and improve health.

Smoke-Free Progress in Latin America

Smoke-Free Progress in Latin America