The paper describes the uniqueness of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) as the first international treaty negotiated under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO). It outlines the distinctive features of the FCTC and explains why three crucial elements of this international treaty – the shift in perspective, the priority of health over trade, and the recognition of the role of civil society – are new dimensions on the diplomatic scene. Furthermore, the paper highlights the role that Brazil played in the negotiations that resulted in the FCTC. It contextualizes the 1988 citizen’s constitution and analyses its importance for the adoption of the FCTC.