Equator Gringos

August 22, 2008

Why it’s no fun smoking in Brazil

Filed under: South America — Tags: , , — lstollin @ 6:05 am

Traveling in Brazil for 3 weeks in June and July was a great experience, and right off I noticed that fewer people were smoking compared to my last visit 20 years ago. Argentines and Uruguayans, on the other hand, are still smoking like chimneys. What’s the difference?

I tend to feel like we do a great job in the U.S. of letting people know about the dangers of smoking. After all, we started the business of warnings, and there’s this blurb (or another one) on every pack of cigarretes:

SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease,
Emphysema, And May Complicate Pregnancy.

But let me tell you, we could do better, as we discovered in Brazil. I found this quote on Wikipedia, in an article that summarizes the kinds of warnings found on cigarettes in different countries:

Though America started the trend of labeling cigarette packages with health warnings, today the country has one of the smallest, least prominent warnings placed on their packages.

Without further ado, here’s how they get the word out in Brazil, which Wikipedia says was the second country to adopt warnings. Clearly, they’ve kept pushing the envelope.

The right side of a cigarette advertising poster

The right side of a cigarette advertising poster

The back of the cigarette packs...

The back of three cigarette packs, indicating that smoking causes: cancer of the mouth and loss of teeth; spontaneous abortions; and vascular disease which leads to amputation.

"Children that live with smokers have more asthma, pneumonia, sinusitis and allergies."

"Children that live with smokers have more asthma, pneumonia, sinusitis and allergies."

Anyone feel like a smoke?

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