Venezuela Bans Indoor Smoking In Public and At Work

CARACAS -(Dow Jones)- An antismoking law took effect in Venezuela Tuesday that bans the use of tobacco products in public, indoor spaces like nightclubs and restaurants as well as offices and other work areas.

“We are talking about airports, public transportation, commercial areas,” said Health Minister Eugenia Sader on state television.

Ban on indoor smoking

Ban on indoor smoking

According to the measure, “it is prohibited to smoke or light tobacco products inside public places and working places, including the transit system.”

The law’s implementation was scheduled to coincide with the World Health Organization’s “World No Tobacco Day” campaign.

In 2007, the Venezuelan government passed a limited ban on smoking in bars and restaurants that only permitted lighting up in establishments equipped with ventilators.

That same year, then Health Minister Erick Rodriguez caused a public stir after claiming the Venezuelan government would seek to end domestic production of tobacco, forcing consumers to buy more expensive, foreign brands.

A few days later, Rodriguez denied the plans and said his statements were taken out of context before resigning.

Venezuelan cigarette producers include Cigarrera Bigott, owned by British American Tobacco PLC, and Tabacalera Nacional, an affiliate of Philip Morris International.

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