Honduras seeks to stop smoking — even at home
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Lighting up a cigarette at home could bring a visit from Honduran police if a family member or even a visitor complains about secondhand smoke.
A new law that took effect Monday banning smoking in most public and private spaces doesn’t actually outlaw cigarettes inside homes, but it does have a provision allowing people to file complaints about secondhand smoke in homes.
Violations would bring a verbal warning on the first offense. After that could come arrest and a $311 fine — the equivalent of the monthly minimum wage in this Central American country.
Even some anti-smoking advocates suspect that part of the law may not work.
“It seems its intention is to educate by way of complaints, a move that I do not find very feasible,” said Armando Peruga, a program manager at the World Health Organization’s Tobacco-Free Initiative.
He did praise Honduras for adopting a broad anti-smoking law, noting it is only the 29th nation to adopt such a law out of WHO’s 193 member states.
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