Honduras Adopted a Law that Allows Family Members to Call the Police When Someone Smokes at Home

Currently in Honduras was adopted a new law that allows family members call in the police on those people who smoke at home.

This new measure prohibits smoking in the majority of public and private places and requires smokers to light up at least six feet away from nonsmokers.

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Also the law clearly bans smoking in cultural centers, schools, stadiums, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, buses and taxis but it doesn’t evidently prohibit smoking at home. However a clause clearly underlines that relatives or visitors can call in police in order to deal with smokers at home: “Families may make complains to law enforcement agencies when someone expose them to secondhand smoke in private places and homes.”

Those who will infringe the law will first obtain a verbal warning and if the infringement will repeat again, they could be arrested. In order to be released they would have to pay a $311 fine, an equivalent of a monthly minimum wage in Honduras, according to David Portillo, director of the Institute to Prevent Alcoholism and Drug Addiction.

“I think that this law is evident and we will observe it. Law enforcement authorities will arrive when someone makes complaints,” Portillo declared.

Many declare that it will be impossible to implement this law in a nation of 8 million people with such a dangerous crime problem and only 12,000 police officers.

“It is evident that police officers won’t be able to enforce this law, because they hardly manage with the crime, not to mention to go for those who smoke at home,” stated Pedro Martinez, a computer engineer who has smoked for 20 years.

A representative of the World Health Organization’s Tobacco-Free Initiative, exalted Honduras for its anti-smoking law, stating that it is only the 29th nation to implement such a law out of WHO’s 193 member states.

But he also declared that the clause permitting family members to call in the police officials on their smoker relatives is confusing. “I think that this clause does have any sense, because the given law doesn’t ban smoking at homes,” he said.

The given law also prohibits all advertising of tobacco products and requires to place photos of lungs affected by cancer on cigarette packages. From today onward all tobacco manufacturers have 60 days in order to comply with both requirements.

It was found out that 30% of Hondurans smoke and nine out of ten are suffering bronchitis and live in homes where there is at least one smoker.

Also legislators declared that such establishments as bars and restaurants, which permit smoking could be fined between $1,000 and $6,000.

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