Honduras bans smoking

There’s a new anti-smoking law in Honduras that bans smoking, not only in public places, but even at home.

The law prohibits any kind of advertising for any kind tobacco-related products, even of fake cigars.

“The law is clear and we will comply with it,” said Rony Portillo, head of the Institute to Prevent Alcoholism and Drug Addiction.

Actually the law is not so clear.

The law does not explicitly ban people from smoking in their own homes, but allows non smoking people to complain before the authorities for being exposed to secondhand smoke in their own houses.

In open spaces, the law bans people from smoking near anyone within a space of 2 meters (6 feet).

The anti-smoking law leaves open the possibility of enclosed public places exclusively destined to smokers, but in practice its unlikely this will be allowed, judging by the public statements of the authorities and the media.

Article 28 of the law states: “Minors… wont be allowed in places where smoking is permitted”.

These seems to imply that in some public places smoking will be permitted.

Minors are people under the age of 21 according to the Honduran law. At the age of 18 in Honduras, young people are considered “citizens” but not adults endowed with full legal rights.

The ironic thing is that this law becomes enforceable just a few days after a tobacco festival sponsored by the government; the First Humo Jaguar Festival will be the last, as this new anti-tobacco law prohibits any kind of publicity favorable to any kind of tobacco-related product.

The production of Havana cigars is a important source of jobs in the Honduran cities of Copan and Danli. These cigars are mostly destined to exportation, and alternative sources of income for the employees of the tobacco industry are not ready available. Some people fear these jobs will be affected by this radical law.

This anti-tobacco law can be consulted at the IHADFA website [es].

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