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2.10.1 Changes in legislation on cigarette consumption in Brazil

The first significant legislative move towards controlling cigarette consumption was in 1988, but the provisions at this time were weak. From 1995, relatively strong warnings and messages about the risks for the health of smokers have been required. Restrictions have been in place on advertising, and on distribution of free samples where young people below 18 years were present.

The Ministry of Health requires that warnings regarding potential damage to health, related to tobacco consumption, should be on cigarette packets and advertising.

However, effective legislation can only be enacted at the state level, or in terms of Resolutions, when regulation is federal. Currently, only 3 of the 27 states have anti-smoking legislation: Ceará has legislation against smoking; Rio de Janeiro has legislation to protect passive smokers; and Paraná has a comprehensive body of legal instruments to restrain smoking.

2.10.2 Non-price measures

Anti-smoking campaigns have been a powerful weapon in the government’s attempt to restrain cigarette consumption in Brazil. These campaigns have gained extra support from a movement involving NGOs and private groups, but the tobacco industry has reacted with an information campaign of its own.

2.10.3 Bans on advertising and promotion

Publicity campaigns effectively affect cigarette consumption. The tobacco industry tends to invest more in advertising during downswings in consumption. For example, a dramatic increase in cigarette advertising expenditure in Brazil occurred during 1991-95, at a time when cigarette consumption was apparently declining significantly.

The Brazilian tobacco industry has been for some years about the sixteenth-biggest client of the local advertising industry, spending US$58.7 million in 1994, or about 8.8 percent of total advertising expenditure in Brazil.

The national council of ethics in advertising is responsible for controlling the accuracy of messages in advertising.

In 2002, government issued a resolution requiring six mandatory health warnings on all cigarette packets. These warnings are similar to those adopted in Canada, but softer.

Smoking is definitively banned in cinemas, theatres and schools; on government premises; in offices of private companies; in public transport; and internal and external flights of Brazilian and foreign airlines.

There may be potential to merge the interests of manufacturers, government and health agencies by more effectively enforcing anti-smuggling legislation. Stricter border and port controls could reduce smuggling drastically, thus improving the returns from legal products. This convergence of interests could avoid resistance from any one party, something that has prevented other measures from having full effect.

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