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Latino Daily News

Friday January 6, 2012

Buenos Aires Now a Smoke-Free City

Buenos Aires Now a Smoke-Free City

Photo: Buenos Aires Now Smoke-Free

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Buenos Aires, starting Thursday, is now a smoke-free city after the entry into force of an ordinance prohibiting smoking in closed areas, such as bars, restaurants and rooms where the public gathers.

The regulation establishes that “closed spaces ... will no longer be able to have smoking zones,” said 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 measure had established that bars and restaurants could continue to maintain smoking zones up until Thursday.

The law does not include “backyards, terraces, balconies and other open-air spaces in places closed to public access” or “areas specifically and exclusively for the enjoyment of tobacco products in clubs for tobacco smokers and tobacco stores, mental health centers and detention centers.”

Last June, the Argentine Congress passed a law 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.”

Argentina is the only country in Latin America that did not ratify the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which has been approved by 173 countries.

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