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Brazil Bans Cigarette Ads


February 1995

In early January the Brazilian Health Ministry announced a ban on cigarette advertising in all public cultural and sporting events, magazine advertisements, and television programming until 11:00 pm (James Brooke, "Brazil Comes Down Hard on Cigarette Ads," The New York Times, Jan. 15, 1995, p. 6).

Cigarette consumption in Brazil has been on the decline over the past few years, down from 164 billion cigarettes in 1990 to 103 billion in 1994. Industry experts attribute the 40 percent per capita drop in the last five years to the recession, but Brazilian health officials say anti-smoking campaigning is responsible.

The new standards went into effect in late January for newspapers and magazines, but television rules will not take effect until May. The cigarette restrictions also include a tobacco warning system in which one of eight graphics will cover a quarter of the cigarette-package front.

Many restaurants in Sao Paulo, Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro have set up no-smoking sections as the ban becomes increasingly popular. Some Brazilians, however, oppose the ban claiming that it is one more way Brazil is trying to copy U.S. cultural trends.