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The taste of smoke: tobacco industry strategies to prevent the prohibition of additives in tobacco products in Brazil
  1. Andre Luiz Oliveira da Silva1,2,
  2. Stella Aguinaga Bialous3,
  3. Patrícia Gonçalves Duarte Albertassi2,
  4. Daniela Aparecida dos Reis Arquete2,
  5. Ana Marcia Messeder Sebrao Fernandes2,
  6. Josino Costa Moreira1
  1. 1 CESTEH, Escola Nacional de Saude Publica Sergio Arouca, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
  2. 2 Agencia Nacional de Vigilancia Sanitaria - ANVISA, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
  3. 3 Center for Tobacco Control, UCSF, San Francisco, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Andre Luiz Oliveira da Silva, Laboratório de Toxicologia do Centro de Estudos de Saude do Trabalhador e Ecologia Humana, Escola Nacional de Saude Publica Sergio Arouca, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (CESTEH/ENSP/FIOCRUZ), Rua Leopoldo Bulhões, 1480 - Manguinhos, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; andre.sp.ensp{at}


Background The tobacco industry (TI) uses several strategies to attract new consumers, including using additives in tobacco products, which makes tobacco especially attractive to youth. Based on scientific evidence and the principles of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (ANVISA, for the name in Portuguese), published the Collegiate Board Resolution (RDC, for the name in Portuguese) 14/2012 in 2012, prohibiting the addition of substances that enhance the flavour and taste of tobacco products in order to make them more attractive. In response, the TI used various strategies to prevent RDC 14/2012 from entering into force. At the time, the Brazilian additive ban was the most comprehensive in the world as it included a ban on menthol.

Objectives This paper analyses the arguments and strategies used by the TI to prevent the implementation of the additives ban.

Methods Review of published articles, reports, legislation and legislative activity, internal TI documents, media stories and other documents to describe TI’s reaction to the ban.

Results The results show that the TI used some well-known strategies to delay or cancel the entering into force of the resolution. For example, the TI attempted political interference, used litigation and commissioned studies with findings that questioned the resolution’s rationale. The TI strategies used in Brazil are similar to those used at the global level to oppose other tobacco control measures.

Conclusions TI successfully delayed the most comprehensive additive ban in the world using its usual tactics, despite the fact that none of the arguments presented by the TI had an acceptable scientific basis or evidence.

  • tobacco industry
  • tobacco product additives
  • tobacco flavours
  • smoking prevention
  • who framework convention on tobacco control (fctc)

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Disclaimer This paper represents solely and exclusively the opinion and thinking of the authors, based on the evidence available at the time. It does not represent ANVISA, FIOCRUZ, Ministry of Health and the Brazilian Government’s institutional views, policies or opinions.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.