The Union welcomes Federal Senate approval of tobacco control Bill in Brazil

The Union welcomes the approval of a Bill by Brazil’s Federal Senate on Tuesday 12 November extending measures to fight the tobacco epidemic in the country. The Bill will now go before the Chair of Deputies for final approval, which is expected in 2020. Once approved, the Bill will take effect in 90 days.

The Bill includes major tobacco control advances including a ban of tobacco product displays at point of sale, a ban on importing and marketing of flavoured tobacco products, strengthened graphic health warnings on tobacco packaging, and a ban on smoking in cars with children present, with tough fines for drivers who are caught breaking this law.

The Bill was approved by the Federal Senate despite opposition by tobacco industry allies and front groups such as ABRASEL (Associação Brasileira de Bares e Restaurantes).

“Tobacco causes eight million deaths per year worldwide, and more than 400 deaths per day in Brazil,” said Dr Gustavo Sóñora, Regional Director of The Union Latin America. “The Union celebrates this achievement as a major step forwards in the fight against tobacco use, and an example for other countries to follow.

“We also urge Brazil – as one of the world leaders in implementing evidence-based tobacco control policies – to continue its leadership by reconsidering the introduction of plain packaging, which was originally proposed but left out of the final Bill.”

The Union has been supporting Brazil's tobacco control efforts for more than a decade. Our joint work with the National Cancer Institute (INCA) and the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) contributed to a sweeping 2011 tobacco tax policy reform, the creation of the first government-run online observatory to monitor tobacco industry interference, and online training of 700 health inspectors to implement and enforce tobacco control legislation across the country.

The Union will continue to work closely with our partners to support Brazil in implementing this Bill, and to encourage the adoption of other evidence-based tobacco control policies such as plain packaging, to further reduce tobacco use and the unnecessary death and suffering it causes.

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