Photo: Imitation cigarettes
The manufacture and sale of imitation cigarettes, especially those targeting children, will be banned in Brazil beginning in June 2014.
The ruling, signed Thursday by President Dilma Rousseff, is yet another government initiative to reduce the number of smokers in Brazil.
The law imposes a fine of 10 reais ($4.30) for each product confiscated.
Despite being the world’s biggest tobacco producer, Brazil has promoted a number of regulations to reduce smoking in the country.
Since 1988, Brazil has had a law prohibiting all tobacco advertising in mass media and on billboards.
The government also taxes the product heavily and obliges manufacturers to include warnings on the labels about the risks of smoking, along with forceful images of the harmful effects of tobacco such as impotence, lung cancer and deformities of the fetus.
Since 2011 Brazil has also banned smoking in public. establishments and enclosed areas, such as restaurants and offices.
Research performed between 1989-2010 showed that one out of every three Brazilian smokers quit the habit due to restrictions on the advertising and on smoking.
According to a study released this December by the Federal University of Sao Paulo, the proportion of Brazilians who use tobacco regularly dropped from 19.6 percent in 2006 to 15.6 percent in 2012.
The same study shows there are 20 million smokers in Brazil, of whom 533,000 are adolescents.