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Brazil played a major leadership role during the negotiations of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). Since the mid 1990s, the country’s national tobacco control policy has gained impetus, and the latest household based survey shows that regular adult (15+) smoking is declining, with current overall prevalence estimated at 19%. Brazil signed the WHO FCTC in June 2003 and despite its significant tobacco growing, manufacture, and exports, it was expected to ratify. However, ratification is proving to be a bumpier road to travel.
In May 2004, Congress approved FCTC ratification, with the text being sent to the Senate’s external affairs committee for consideration and approval, but a move to give it priority was halted at the request of a Senator who represents the southern region where the majority of Brazil’s tobacco is grown. He said his request was based on the desire to carefully consider …
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