Anti-Smoking Law Takes Effect in Five Days

The new anti-smoking law goes into effect on February 21, 2011.

The Congressional Health Commission of the National Anti-Tobacco Association is refining their strategies to disseminate information on the new law that bans smoking indoors.

The President of the Congressional Health Commission, Congressman Mauricio Oliva, reported that they are working on a strategy for the Honduran people to be informed of the details of the new Anti-Tobacco Law, which will be implemented on February 21st. The ban on smoking will be in effect for enclosed spaces such as restaurants, nightclubs, supermarkets, and other establishments where the general population gathers.

The senator explained that they will broadcast an intense media campaign in at least 121 municipalities of Honduras. They plan to make clear to the public, in which locations they may or may not smoke, as well as the penalties they would incur if the new regulation is broken.

He added that the leader of the legislature, Juan Orlando Hernández, has ordered the immediate labeling of all areas of the Congress building, where after the 21st of February, it will be strictly forbidden to inhale cigarettes or any derivative of snuff.

“Whoever wants to smoke will be respected, but they also must respect non-smokers, and therefore it will just need to be done in the open,” said Oliva. He regrets that at least 80 percent of people suffering lung disease have never tried a cigarette.

The Anti-Tobacco Act was an initiative of the Deputy President, which was tabled over the previous several years. It was not until last year, after a rigorous process of talking with tobacco businesses and civil society in general, that it was approved. This was also done to comply with international treaties regarding smoking in public, of which the Government of Honduras is a signatory.


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