This study analyzes Brazil’s tobacco control policy from 1986 to 2016, seeking to describe the policy’s history and discuss its achievements, limits, and challenges. The study adopted a political economics approach and contributions from public policy analysis. Data were based on a search of the literature, documents, and secondary sources and semi-structured interviews with stakeholders involved in the policy. Factors related to the domestic and international contexts, the political process, and the policy’s content influenced the institutional characteristics of tobacco control in the country. The study emphasizes the consolidation of Brazil’s social rejection of smoking, government structuring of the policy, action by civil society, and Brazil’s prestige in the international scenario. Inter-sector tobacco control measures like price and tax increases on cigarettes, the promotion of smoke-free environments, and the enforcement of health warnings contributed to the important reduction in prevalence of smoking. Implementation of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in Brazil, beginning in 2006, contributed to the expansion and consolidation of the national policy. However, tobacco-related economic interests limited the implementation of some strategic measures. The challenges feature the medium- and long-term sustainability of tobacco control and the solution to barriers involving crop diversification on current tobacco-growing areas, the fight against the illegal cigarette trade, and interference in the policy by the tobacco industry.
Tobacco; National Program of Tobacco Control; Public Health Policy