Cigarette consumption in Brazil reaches lowest level in 10 years

by Otávio Clark | Jun 1, 2016

Smoking has been associated with status and glamour, but nowadays the social perception of tobacco use has changed. This can be seen in the decrease in the number of smokers around the world, but the World Health Organization (WHO) wants to reduce this rate even further: the goal is to decrease the number of smokers by 30% by 2025. According to the organization’s latest report, tobacco is responsible for 5.4 million deaths worldwide each year, killing more than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. On May 31 WHO celebrated World No Tobacco Day, which encourages a day without smoking, showing that it is possible to take the first step toward a life with no cigarettes.

Following in the footsteps of countries such as Ireland, the UK, Spain and Hungary, in 2011 Brazil passed the Anti-Smoking Law, which banned cigarette smoking in collective and partly closed environments. The National Cancer Institute José Alencar Gomes da Silva (INCA) promotes prevention and awareness of diseases and preventable deaths related to smoking.

These changes in social perception and legislation affected the consumption of cigarettes. According to data from the Target Group Index of Kantar IBOPE Media, since 2005 cigarette consumption fell 35%, with a marked decrease since 2011. Last year, the cigarette consumer index reached its lowest value, 14.2%.

“At any stage of life, quit smoking will benefit health. It is common to hear people say that because they are older, stop smoking 'isn't worthwhile' but studies point in another direction. Stopping smoking before the age of 35 years, for example, will make the survival curve of smokers very similar to an individual who has never smoked before; before 45 years, the individual will gain nine years in the life curve relative to those who keep on smoking; for those who stop smoking before the age of 55 years, the gain is six years and for those who stop before 64, the gain is four years,” explains oncologist Bruna Pegoretti Rosa, director of Medical Intelligence at Evidências - Kantar Health.

Consumption Control

Defending the control of tobacco consumption is a priority for WHO, which supports legislation that helps regulated where smoking should be prohibited, such as the Anti-Smoking Law in Brazil.

“A study conducted by INCA in partnership with Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., revealed that the number of smokers in Brazil fell by half in the last 20 years due to anti-smoking laws implemented in the country (which increased taxes and restricted smoking in public places). Also, data show that negative images printed on cigarette packs are related to a positive impact, reducing smoking initiation rates and increasing smoking cessation rates,” says Pegoretti.

According to data from Kantar Health, even with restrictions, smokers seem to observe with some comfort the legislation aimed at preventing that non-smokers are bothered by smoke from cigarettes, cigars and pipes. Among UK, France, USA, China, Brazil and Spain respondents, most individuals claims to not find it difficult to restrict consumption in controlled places.

Cigarette smoke has about 4,700 different toxic substances. This smoke harms not only “active” smokers but passive smokers as well. “Passive smokers face as many risks as smokers. According to WHO, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the world. Every year 5 million people die worldwide as a result of smoking  - this number is astonishing,” says Pegoretti.

More information, such as data and graphics, can be seen on the link: Kantar Insights.

Notes: Data from Target Group Index refer to the period from August 2014 to September 2015, based on over 20,000 interviews. Target Group Index is a "single source" study on consumption of products, services and media, lifestyle and sociodemographic characteristics, present in 70 countries.

Data from Kantar Health is from the National Health and Wellness Survey.

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