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Strong tobacco control policies in Brazil credited for more than 400,000 lives saved
Date:11/6/2012

WASHINGTON High cigarette prices, smoke-free air laws, marketing restrictions and other measures, all part of Brazil's strong tobacco control policies, are credited for a 50 percent reduction in smoking prevalence between 1989 and 2010. The reduction contributed to an estimated 420,000 lives saved during that time period. Those are the findings of a new study published today in PLOS Medicine by a team of researchers from Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Brazilian National Cancer Institute.

Adding to the dramatic conclusion of the study, which used modeling to determine projections, the researchers say the Latin American country's policies could result in as many as 7 million lives saved by 2050.

Tobacco kills up to half its usersmore than 5 million smokers die every year in the world from tobacco-related causes, says David Levy, Ph.D., a professor of oncology at Georgetown Lombardi. It also kills more than half a million non-smokers annually who have been exposed to second-hand smoke.

Brazil has played a pioneering role among low and middle income countries in providing support for tobacco control measures. It introduced its first cigarette-specific tax in 1990, and in 1996 placed the first warnings on cigarette packages and introduced smoke-free air laws. Many of these measures have subsequently been strengthened, including stronger advertising restrictions, higher taxes and bold and graphic warnings.

To determine the impact of these measures on smoking prevalence and deaths, researchers developed the Brazil SimSmoke Policy Simulation Model. Using policy and population and smoking data for Brazil, the model assesses the effect of several initiatives on premature deaths including cigarette taxes, smoke-free air laws, mass media campaigns, marketing restrictions, packaging requirements, cessation treatment programs and restrictions to youth access.

The model estimated that the smoking
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Contact: Karen Mallet
km463@georgetown.edu
Georgetown University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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Strong tobacco control policies in Brazil credited for more than 400,000 lives saved
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