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Brazil Takes Crucial Step toward Becoming World’s Most Populous Smoke-Free Country

June 06, 2014


In December 2011, Brazil enacted a historic tobacco control law that, among other things, would make Brazil the world’s most populous country to go smoke-free. However, fierce tobacco industry opposition has slowed implementation of the law.

On May 31, Brazil’s Ministry of Health took a critical step forward by issuing regulations to implement the law beginning in December of this year.

In addition to requiring smoke-free public places, the 2011 law also bans point-of-sale tobacco advertisements and strengthens cigarette warning labels. Brazil currently has graphic warnings covering the entire back of the pack. Starting in 2016, warnings must also cover 30 percent of the front of the pack.

We applaud Brazilian Minister of Health Arthur Chioro for making implementation of the tobacco control law a priority. We also applaud Brazil’s tobacco control advocates who have worked tirelessly to overcome the tobacco industry’s interference and ensure the law is finally implemented.

Smoking kills more than 137,000 Brazilians each year, and one-fifth of Brazilian men smoke. The new regulations mark a significant step toward reducing tobacco’s devastating toll.