Brazil’s Supreme Court of Justice rejected a constitutional challenge from the tobacco industry against a resolution from the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) that banned all flavoured additives in tobacco products. Together with new restrictions recently issued by ANVISA on point-of-sale display of tobacco products, the ban will provide additional protection against tobacco industry strategies to attract new smokers.
The Union provided legal, technical and financial assistance to help uphold this regulation – a world first when enacted in 2012.
The tobacco industry filed a lawsuit against ANVISA, arguing that the agency lacked legal authority to regulate their products. A clear majority of Supreme Court members upheld ANVISA’s authority to enact regulatory measures. The Court also rejected the tobacco industry request to strike down ANVISA’s ban on additives, though it left the door open to future legal challenges with different arguments.
Brazil is the largest country in Latin America with a population of 210 million. It is the world’s second largest tobacco producer and the first in tobacco exports. Despite the strength of the tobacco industry and the tobacco-growing sector, Brazil has been a regional leader for tobacco control for over two decades. The country more than reduced by two thirds the adult smoking rate from 35 percent in 1989, to 11 percent in 2014.
The Union has supported Brazil’s tobacco control efforts for more than a decade.