Today, the President of Brazil enacted sweeping anti-tobacco legislation.
More than 17 percent of adults in Brazil smoke, and tobacco use kills more than 200,000 Brazilians each year. Tobacco is responsible for 45 percent of all heart attack deaths, 85 percent of all emphysema deaths, and 30 percent of deaths caused by cancer in the country.
Said Mike Bloomberg:
“Today the Brazilian government has taken historic action to protect the health of nearly 190 million citizens by enacting a comprehensive tobacco control law. Since the Bloomberg Initiative began five-years ago 21 countries have passed laws that allow their citizens to breathe air free from harmful tobacco smoke and move toward a healthier future. We welcome Brazil to this group of countries, and Bloomberg Philanthropies will continue to work with our partners to ensure more citizens in more countries around the world will breathe more freely.”
Dr. Kelly Henning, who leads public health initiatives for Bloomberg Philanthropies, had this to say:
"We congratulate President Dilma Rousseff and the Brazilian government for signing into law today a number of measures that will protect Brazil's citizens from the deadly harms of tobacco use. Most notably, the law prohibits smoking in all enclosed public places, including workplaces, making Brazil the most populated country in the world to enact a comprehensive smoke-free law. In addition, the law bans tobacco advertising at the point-of-sale and increases the tax on tobacco products. This action will prevent countless premature deaths in Brazil. Bloomberg Philanthropies is honored to have had the opportunity to support the excellent work of the Brazilian Ministry of Health through our international partners and country-based organizations."
Dr. Henning stated that successful passage of legislation in Brazil was the result of the hard work of numerous key players.
Bloomberg Initiative international partners including Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, the CDC Foundation, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and World Lung Foundation all played important roles. The work of the National Cancer Institute (INCA), a governmental grantee, in support of tobacco control policies at the state and federal levels for the past several years proved critical to the process. And grantee, Act Brazil, supported the tobacco tax proposal as well as strongly pushing for Brazilian Congress approval of the strongest bill possible.
For more information on the Bloomberg Initiative’s impact on anti-tobacco issues please see our five-year progress report.