Brazil’s national health surveillance agency, Anvisa, decided on July 6 to maintain its ban on the import, advertising and sale of electronic cigarettes in Brazil, according to News Bulletin 24/7. The restriction began in 2009, but marketing continues illegally in the country, so Anvisa also called for increased inspections and educational campaigns to curb the illicit trade in e-cigarettes.
The decision was taken unanimously during a meeting of the body’s collegiate board. According to Anvisa Director Cristiane Rose Jourdan, scientific studies show that the use of electronic smoking devices increases the risk of smoking in young people, the potential for dependence and the likelihood of lung, cardiovascular and neurological health problems.
The Brazilian Medical Association (AMB) applauded Anvisa’s position. ”This is a wise decision, as there is increasing scientific evidence that the use of electronic smoking devices, the DEFs, is not harmless, does not support smoking cessation or is a form of harm reduction, but a product that causes dependence and can cause several diseases, especially cardiovascular, respiratory and cancer,” said Ricardo Meirelles, coordinator of the Commission to Combat Tobacco at AMB.
A survey carried out in the first quarter of 2022 by the Vital Strategies organization and the Federal University of Pelotas, revealed that 19.7 percent of Brazilians aged between 18 and 24 have tried electronic cigarettes.
BAT Brasil (formerly Souza Cruz) said it will assess the regulatory impact analysis of Anvisa’s decision when it is published.
“Dozens of countries have already understood the importance of risk reduction as part of their tobacco control policies and, given this reality, have advanced in the regulation of these devices,” the company said in a statement, citing the examples of United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom, among others.
Japan Tobacco International regretted Anvisa’s decision. “The use of electronic devices in the country is current and supplied exclusively by illicit trade. Legalized companies do not sell the product and the growth in consumption that affects the population comes from the illegal acquisition of devices,” the company said.