Strict Anti-Tobacco Policies Reduce Smoking Rates in Brazil
A new study shows that enforcing strict anti-tobacco policies may be an effective way to control the habit and bring down the number of deaths from smoking-related diseases. US and Brazilian researchers report that smoking rates in Brazil have been reduced to half since strict tobacco control policies took effect in that country in 1989. Furthermore, the authors estimated that more than 400,000 smoking-related deaths have been prevented by these laws.
Researchers from the Brazilian National Cancer Institute in Rio de Janeiro and the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center of Georgetown University in Washington DC used a modeling simulation study called Brazil SimSmoke. Using this tool, they calculated that smoking rates in Brazil would not have been reduced by 46% if the anti-tobacco policies were not implemented. They found that 35% of Brazilian adults smoked in 1989, compared to 18% in 2008. They predict that smoking rates may further drop by 39% between 2010 and 2050 even stricter tobacco control policies.
The anti-smoking policies which took effect within the past two decades included a cigarette-specific tax, restrictions on cigarette advertising, tobacco marketing restrictions, putting warnings on cigarette packages, and introducing smoke-free air laws. They also used anti-smoking mass media campaigns and treatment programs to help people stop smoking.
The authors estimate that by 2050, 7 million deaths may be prevented, and with even stricter tobacco control policies, including an increase in tobacco tax, they calculate that an additional 1.3 million early deaths may be averted.
The authors say believe that Brazil serves as an outstanding public health model for other low and middle-income nations in reducing deaths due to smoking, although stricter laws may reduce deaths due to smoking further than this.
Public Library of Science. Anti-tobacco policies responsible for Brazil’s big success in reducing smoking rates. ScienceDaily.