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Tobacco causes loss of $17.6 billion per year to Brazil

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Staff Writer | June 1, 2017
The consumption of tobacco-related products caused a loss of 56.9bn reals ($17.6 billion) to the Brazilian economy in 2015.
Brazil smoking
LatAm   Continuous campaigns and restrictive legislation
This is according to the Brazil's National Cancer Institute (INCA).

The release of the study, which marks the World Health Organization's World No Tobacco Day, showed figures that are the results of a comprehensive study carried out in a partnership between INCA, the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation and the University of Buenos Aires, in Argentina.

As direct medical costs, 39.4 billion reals (12.2 billion dollars) paid by the public healthcare system was to treat Brazilians suffering tobacco-related diseases.

Other indirect costs amount to 17.5 billion reals (5.4 billion dollars), originating from productivity loss, due to thousands of premature deaths and incapacitation of workers caused by those diseases.

Brazil is the second largest tobacco producer and leading exporter in the world. While the study proved that the industry's revenue to the Brazilian economy is nowhere near the costs the tobacco consumption in Brazil.

In addition to severe economic losses, cigarettes are also responsible for a high loss of lives in the country.

Over the past years, Brazil took several actions to curb tobacco's advance in the country, such as increasing taxes over cigarettes, severely restricting publicity of cigarettes and offering free treatment to stop smoking in clinics all over the country.

Continuous campaigns and restrictive legislation resulted in a drastic fall in the prevalence of smokers, but there are still over 20 million smokers in Brazil. The impact of tobacco is still significant.