As a non-smoker who has lived the last 5 years in Spain, a country which is in the world top 10 for the number of cigarettes smoked per capita as shown in this graphic, I was pleasantly surprised by how few people seemed to smoke in São Paulo and in Brazil in general. In fact on the same WHO index it is ranked 74 out of 121 countries, well below all European countries with the exception of Norway.
However, it seems like it hasn't always been that way and even today there is relatively high tobacco consumption amongst children in some areas. Hence, the Ministry of Health's rather aggressive no-smoking campaign which I noticed in a roadside restaurant yesterday. Originally launched in 2002, the law made it obligatory for cigarette packaging to dedicate 100% of one side to health warning images. The official images were designed to shock and they did but even so in 2004 they were made more high impact and today the images displayed in shops and packacking are from a third set of images released in 2008 which are amongst the hardest hitting I have seen anywhere in the world. Let me know what you think of them: