• April 21, 2024

Court Upholds Brazil’s Power to Ban Tobacco Additives

 Court Upholds Brazil’s Power to Ban Tobacco Additives
Photo: Taco Tuinstra

Brazil’s Federal Regional Court of the First Region on Jan. 25 affirmed the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency’s (ANVISA) power to ban the use of additives in tobacco products.

With this decision, the federal court affirms a February 2018 ruling of Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court–the country’s highest court that recognized ANVISA’s authority to regulate tobacco products and upheld a 2012 regulation prohibiting flavors and additives in tobacco products sold in the country.

Due to a quorum issue, the ruling of the Supreme Court did not have a binding effect over other lawsuits previously filed with ordinary federal courts by tobacco companies and the trade group Sinditabaco.

Based on these lawsuits, British American Tobacco subsidiary Souza Cruz and Phillip Morris International were granted injunctions and allowed to continue selling flavored products. The Federal Regional Court ruling on Monday lifted those injunctions and set a precedent for other similar cases in the country. 

“This decision reaffirms Brazil’s role as a global leader in tobacco control,” said Patricia Sosa, director of Latin American and the Caribbean programs at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, in a statement. “We urge other countries in the region and around the world to follow its lead and ban all flavored tobacco products to protect youth and other vulnerable populations.”

In 2012, Brazil became the world’s first country to ban the use of flavors and additives in tobacco products, including menthol. This ban was approved following two years of public hearings and broad stakeholder participation.