BRASÍLIA (BDCi) – Last week, smoking was banned in Brazil in all indoor spaces, public or private, like clubs, restaurants and residential building halls. The new law also prohibits advertising for cigarettes, even in places where the product is allowed to be sold.
Though many are calling the ban a step in the right direction, the anti-smoking law may be stepping on the heels of other legislation.
Not following the new ban will result in being punished with fines and possibly the loss of operating licenses for commercial establishments.
Bars and nightclubs will find themselves especially affected by the new law, as smoking sections are no longer allowed, the principal method for attracting smokers (and their business) in the past. The new law says smokers cannot light up if there are canopies or umbrellas protecting the tables outside.
Another part of the new law requires cigar and cigarette manufacturers to post a warning about the risks tobacco use poses to one’s health that takes up the entire backside of the packaging and one of its sides.
Critics of the ban say they are all for separation and segregation of smokers, but that the rights and liberties of smokers are being infringed.
According to national statistics, 80 percent of Brazil’s 24 million smokers began smoking before age 18 and 19 percent of kids between 13 and 15 have tried a cigarette.
Despite those numbers, smoking has actually declined significantly in Brazil. 34.8 percent of the population was smoking in 1989, compared to only 11.3 percent in 2013.