Argentine capital Buenos Aires becomes smoke-free

January 7th, 2012 - 11:07 am ICT by IANS  

Buenos Aires, Jan 7 (IANS/EFE) The Argentine capital has now become a smoke-free city after the passing of a new law that prohibits smoking in closed areas like bars, restaurants and rooms where the public gathers.

The regulation that came into force Jan 5 says that “closed spaces will no longer be able to have smoking zones”, said Buenos Aires municipal legislator Paula Bertol, the sponsor of the measure.

“The effectiveness of 100 percent smoke-free spaces has been proven all over the world for taking care of people’s health,” she said.

The law, however, does not include “backyards, terraces, balconies and other open-air spaces in places closed to public access”.

It also excludes “areas specifically and exclusively for the enjoyment of tobacco products in clubs for tobacco smokers and tobacco stores, mental health centres and detention centres”.

The Argentine parliament passed a law in June last year giving local and regional jurisdictions the authority to establish “public environments 100 percent free of smoke”, as well as to prohibit cigarette advertising at “all kinds of activities or events”.

According to a study released by the American Cancer Society, Argentina ranks third in the Western Hemisphere in per capita tobacco consumption.

–IANS/EFE
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