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Decrease in the proportion of illicit cigarette use in Brazil: What does it really mean?
  1. Andre Salem Szklo1,
  2. Roberto Magno Iglesias2,3
  1. 1 Epidemiology, Brazilian National Cancer Institute, RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil
  2. 2 TCE/PND, World Health Organization, Geneva 27, Switzerland
  3. 3 Center for Studies in Integration and Development (CINDES), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  1. Correspondence to Mr Andre Salem Szklo; andreszk{at}

Statistics from


Brazil has continuous information on the proportion of smokers and legal cigarette production1 2; information is also available for a non-industry funded estimate of the size of illegal cigarette use from 2012 to 2016.3

In the last years, the strategy of raising cigarette taxes has reduced smoking prevalence and legal cigarette consumption. However, because Brazil’s neighbouring countries have lower taxes and prices, illicit trade has increased.3 4

We present an updated estimate of the proportion of illegal cigarette consumption for the year 2017 and discuss its implications for the full implementation of the tobacco price policy in Brazil and in other low-income and middle-income countries.


In order to estimate the proportion and amount of illicit cigarette use in Brazil …

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