Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Bill Would Ban Smoking In Bars, Brothels

June 13, 2008

The vice president of the National Assembly is proposing a bill that would ban smokers from lighting up in indoor public areas, workplaces and any other enclosed place where the public gathers, including private property.

“We’re talking about restaurants, bars, dance clubs, movie theaters, buses, brothels,” said Luis Callejas, the doctor and Liberal Constitutional Party legislator who was to propose the bill in the National Assembly this week.

The proposal comes a week after Callejas and other legislators made a call to enforce an existing law that bans smoking in public buildings, such as schools and hospitals. Approved by the National Assembly 22 years ago, the law is still largely ignored.

“Unfortunately, the Health Ministry has so many obligations, problems and budget deficiencies that making people stop smoking is the least of its concerns,” said Callejas, himself a former Health Ministry delegate in the northern city of Chinandega.

Callejas’ bill also bans smoking within 100 meters of any public places, requires that businesses put up no-smoking signs, restricts where and how tobacco can be sold and calls on police to crack down on smokers.

According to anti-smoking lobbyist Laura Salgado, Callejas’ bill would help bring Nicaragua into compliance with an  international agreement to reduce tobacco consumption, which the National Assembly ratified in April.

“People who live around smokers suffer and die in the same ways as smokers,” Salgado said at an anti-smoking conference at the Metrocentro InterContinental hotel in Managua on June 5.

Healthy Ministry official Edmundo Sánchez said 28 percent of Nicaraguan households have reported that some member of the household smokes.

“This is a public health issue,” said Callejas, also a member of the assembly’s health commission. “The (existing law) hasn’t been enforced and the same will happen with this law if civil society doesn’t demand that it be enforced.”

 

You may be interested

Costa Rica approves law punishing street sexual harassment with jail and fines
Costa Rica
5804 views
Costa Rica
5804 views

Costa Rica approves law punishing street sexual harassment with jail and fines

AFP and The Tico Times - July 14, 2020

Costa Rica's Legislative Assembly on Tuesday passed a law that criminalizes street sexual harassment and punishes it with prison terms…

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for July 14, 2020
Costa Rica
21356 views
Costa Rica
21356 views

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for July 14, 2020

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 14, 2020

Costa Rica confirmed 446 new cases of the coronavirus over the past day, totaling 8,482 cumulative known cases, the Health…

Panama hospitals on verge of collapse as virus cases surge
Latin America
1219 views
Latin America
1219 views

Panama hospitals on verge of collapse as virus cases surge

Juan José Rodríguez / AFP - July 14, 2020

Hospitals in Panama are on the brink of collapse as coronavirus cases spike in the Central American country worst hit…