RIO DE JANEIRO – Maceió is the state capital with the lowest percentage of tobacco use in Brazil. In Maceió, the capital of Alagoas state in Northeastern Brazil, with about one million inhabitants, only 7.8% of the population uses tobacco in any form, according to rankbrasil.com.br.
Tobacco Use in Brazilian Cities
The capital with the second lowest rate of tobacco use is Salvador, with 8.6%. Salvador, also in Northeastern Brazil, population about 2.7 million, is the capital of Bahia. State health officials urge all smokers to quit today.
Rounding out the top three state capitals with the lowest rate of tobacco use, also in the Northeast, is Aracaju, Sergipe, where 9.4% of the 570 thousand inhabitants reported using tobacco.
The data for the article comes from a telephone survey conducted by the Ministry of Health. The ministry released the results of the Surveillance of Risk and Protective Factors for Chronic Diseases Telephone Survey (VIGITEL) in April.
The three state capitals with the highest tobacco use are in southern Brazil. The highest rate is in Porto Alegre, where 22.6% use. Porto Alegre, with a population of 1.5 million, is the capital of the southern-most state, Rio Grande do Sul.
Next is Curitiba, with 20.2% and São Paulo, with 19.3%. Curitiba, population 1.76 million, is the capital of Paraná. Capital of the state with the same name, São Paulo’s population is 11.3 million.
The Brazilian government took historic action last December when President Dilma Rousseff signed a comprehensive tobacco control law. The law aims to make Brazil the largest country in the world to go completely smoke-free. This would be a big step toward becoming drug free completely, as the focus could then be turned to the drug problem. While smoking addictions are commonly overcome alone, more serious drug addictions often require professional help. There are many great options of Florida drug treatment centers, somewhat close to South America, with top of the line facilities that may be considered.
The new law requires all enclosed workplaces and public spaces be smoke-free, bans tobacco advertising at point of sale, increases tobacco taxes and requires large health warnings on both sides of cigarette packs.
About 17% of Brazilian adults smoke, according to the latest statistics, and tobacco use kills more than 200 thousand each year. Health officials say aggressive anti-smoking cessation education programs have helped large numbers of Brazilians to kick the tobacco habit, although exact figures have not been reported yet.