The Health Commission of the House of Representatives introduced a series of changes in order to create spaces 100% smoke-free in the Province of Buenos Aires. Among them, smoking will be forbidden in buildings belonging to the public administration, as well as in private spaces such as bars, restaurants, bingos and casinos.
The prohibition could start before the ending of the year. After several weeks of debate, the Health Commission headed by representative Juan De Jesús made modifications to the project approved in the Senate, and it passed to the Commission of Production and Commerce to be debated by its members.
Among some modifications to the original project, there is one that says that spaces with public access must be 100% smoke-free, it means, that there will not be places for smokers with the aim to protect non-smokers. The initiative approved in the senate considered a 30% of the public places for smokers.
„This law is not against tobacco, but it aims to guarantee the rights of non-smokers and the rights to breathe pure air, smoke-free. This is an important difference because smokers may continue smoking as long as they do not disturb non-smokers”, said the representative.
If approved, this law will promote the creation of spaces 100% smoke-free, will ban tobacco advertising in public spaces, will boost school education against tobacco and will bring specific treatments for addicts.
De Jesús commented that „in the commission, we follow the criteria of the World Health Organization, that encourages smoke-free environments, it means, that we are talking about the 100% of the place“.
He adds that this process must be „supported with education, so people do not start smoking”. He said that the law is based on health reasons. „Smoking produces addiction, disease and death. 40,000 people die in Argentina per year due to cigarettes. Of this 40,000, there are 6,000 that never smoked but were in touch with smokers”.