Smoking in Argentina

Smoking in Argentina

Smoking in Argentina is subject to a number of bans in different jurisdictions, and there is a nationwide governmental campaign against tobacco smoking and advertising. Argentina accounts for 15% of total tobacco consumption in Latin America.

According to the National Program on Tobacco Control, [es icon Ministry of Health. [ National Program on Tobacco Control] .] 33.5% of the adult population of Argentina smokes, and 30% start smoking before 11 years of age; tobacco causes more than 100 deaths every day (40,000 per year, 6,000 due to secondhand smoke), and the cost of the treatment of tobacco-related diseases amounts to 4,300 million Argentine pesos (1,390 million U.S. dollars) per year, 15.5% of the total public expenditure on health care. The government only collects 3,500 million pesos per year in taxes on cigarettes.

National Law 23344, [es icon [ Law 23344] — "Ley de limitación de las publicidades sobre cigarrillos y obligatoriedad de inscripción de envases."] passed on 29 August 1986, established restrictions on advertising and promotion of tobacco, and dictated that cigarette packs must include a legend warning that "Smoking is harmful to health", but did not include sanctions against violations of the law (these were added later, and then partially vetoed).

In September 2003 Argentina signed the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, though ratification was delayed by two years. Analysts blame tobacco industry interests for this delay, as with previous failures in implementing serious anti-smoking policies. [cite paper|author=Ernesto M. Sebrie, Joaquin Barnoya, Eliseo Perez-Stable, Stanton A. Glantz|date=2005|url=|title=Tobacco Industry Dominating National Tobacco Policy Making in Argentina, 1966-2005|publisher=Center for Tobacco Control, Research and Education, University of California, San Francisco|accessdate=2006-06-23] [ — [ Tobacco news and information: Argentina] .]

As of 2006, a project to ban smoking in all public and enclosed spaces, sent by the Executive to the National Congress in August 2005, is waiting to be treated. Legislative lobbying from the tobacco industry is proposing an alternative, weaker law, championed by Jujuy Province Senator Liliana Fellner, who has called herself "the voice of the [tobacco] producers" (Jujuy is one the seven tobacco-producing provinces in Argentina). [es icon Página/12. 18 September 2006. [ "Una guerra legislativa que levanta humo"] .]

A nationwide telephone survey published in August 2006 showed overwhelming support of the population for laws that establish "smoke-free spaces" in public spaces such as offices, factories, shopping malls and banks (93.4% overall support, 85% among smokers), and that completely forbid smoking in schools, universities and hospitals (97%). More than three quarters among the surveyed (including almost two thirds of the smokers) also supported smoking bans for bars and restaurants. [es icon Clarín. 24 August 2006. [ "La mayoría de la gente, a favor de los espacios libres de humo"] .]

Provincial and municipal laws on smoking

In 2003, according to national sources, 75% of the Argentine provinces had some form of smoking legislation. Either in addition to or in the absence of provincial laws, many municipalities have local regulations to the same effect. Fines might be established for trespassers (tobacco companies, businesses and private individuals). The actual application of this legislation varies considerably.

* In Santa Fe it is forbidden to smoke in enclosed public spaces (offices, restaurants) and to sell tobacco to minors. "(Provincial Law 12432)" [es icon La Capital. 10 November 2005. [ " En medio de una fuerte polémica, Obeid firma hoy la ley "antipucho"."] ] [es icon La Capital. 23 June 2006. [ "Multas de hasta $ 4.500 para los dueños de bares donde se fume."] ]
* In La Rioja and Chubut it is forbidden to smoke in enclosed spaces and in public offices.
* In Mendoza there are also "smoke-free spaces" in schools, hospitals and other public buildings.
* In Córdoba "(Provincial Law 9113, Córdoba Municipal Order 11039)" and Tucumán "(Provincial Law 7575)", smoking bans for public places are in effect since mid-2006. [es icon La Nación. 29 June 2006. [ "Tucumán se despide del cigarrillo."] ] [es icon Clarín. 1 June 2006. [ "En Córdoba ya no se puede fumar en lugares públicos ni privados."] ]
* In Buenos Aires City it is forbidden to smoke in government offices and (since October 2006) in all public enclosed spaces, except in businesses of more than 100 m² where smoking areas have been set up. "(Law 1799)" [es icon Clarín. 1 October 2006. [ "Ley antitabaco: largan los controles y hay pocos locales reformados"] .]
* Chaco, Neuquén, Tierra del Fuego and Salta have similar laws, though they are not always respected.


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