Navigation Links
Guatemala's Congress Takes Action to Save Lives By Approving Strong Smoke-free Legislation

Statement of Matthew L. Myers President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

WASHINGTON, Nov. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Guatemala's Congress on November 24, 2008, approved sweeping smoke-free legislation requiring that indoor workplaces and public places, including restaurants and bars, be 100 percent smoke-free. This legislation is a major step forward in protecting the health of Guatemala's 13 million residents and workers from the deadly effects of secondhand smoke and adds momentum to the growing smoke-free movement in Latin America and the world.


If signed into law, this legislation would place Guatemala among the ranks of leading smoke-free jurisdictions in the world. It prohibits smoking in enclosed public places, work places and all modes of public transport. We urge President Alvaro Colom to sign the legislation immediately and start the clock ticking on the sixty days before it takes effect under Guatemalan law. We also urge the Ministry of Health to write strong regulations and immediately begin preparations for implementing the law so that Guatemala may join its Latin American neighbors in addressing the tobacco epidemic.

In Latin America, Guatemala joins Uruguay, Panama, Mexico, and five Argentinean provinces in having strong smoke-free laws. Worldwide, other countries and jurisdictions that have adopted strong smoke-free laws include Bermuda, Bhutan, Djibouti, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Ireland, Lithuania, New Zealand, Norway, Turkey and the United Kingdom. In Australia, Canada and the United States, a growing number of states, provinces and territories have adopted smoke-free laws.

Increasingly, governments are recognizing that, to effectively protect the health of their citizens, they must take action against a tobacco epidemic that the World Health Organization estimates will claim one billion lives worldwide this century unless urgent action is taken. A 2003 survey found that 23.9 percent of males over age 18 in Guatemala are smokers. Another survey showed that tobacco use among females is rising, and that 36.3 percent of Guatemala's youth are exposed to tobacco use in the home.

Tobacco use already kills 5.4 million people a year worldwide. Unchecked, that number is projected to rise to more than eight million by 2030, with more than 80 percent of these deaths in developing nations. Guatemala should implement the smoke-free law as quickly and strongly as possible. We hope that the leadership of smoke-free champions such as Diputada Zury Rios, who sponsored the legislation that was approved by Guatemala's visionary Congress, will result in a major public health victory for Guatemala.

Facts about Secondhand Smoke and Smoke-Free Laws

  • The science is beyond dispute: Secondhand smoke is harmful and deadly. Public health authorities worldwide, including the World Health Organization (WHO), have concluded that secondhand tobacco smoke is a major cause of serious diseases and premature death in non-smoking adults and children. Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, including at least 60 known to cause cancer. It is a scientifically proven cause of lung cancer, heart disease, serious respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma, sudden infant death syndrome and low birth weight.
  • Everyone has a right to breathe clean air. The scientific evidence is clear that the only effective way to protect workers and the public from secondhand smoke is 100 percent smoke-free environments. Smoke-free laws must not permit any smoking indoors and must apply to all indoor workplaces and public places, including restaurants, bars and other hospitality venues. Designated smoking areas and separate ventilation do not provide adequate health protections. Scientific authorities have concluded that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • The WHO international tobacco control treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, requires 100 percent smoke-free areas without exceptions. Formal guidelines on implementing the treaty's provisions on secondhand smoke, adopted by the treaty's governing body in 2007, provide that only 100 percent smoke-free laws that include all indoor workplaces and public places meet the treaty's requirements.
  • Smoke-free laws protect health without harming business. Numerous scientific studies have found that smoke-free laws do not have a negative impact on the hospitality or tourism industry and in some cases may have had a positive impact.

Based in Washington, D.C., the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a leader in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its devastating consequences in the United States and around the world.As part of the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, the Campaign works with governments and non-governmental organizations in promoting and implementing public policies to reduce tobacco use. Visit

SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. FTC Acts to Prevent Tobacco Industry Deception About Tar, Nicotine Levels; Congress Should Give FDA Authority Over Tobacco Products
2. Report Shows Progress in Fight Against Cancer, but Congress, States Must Step Up Efforts to Reduce Smoking, Lung Cancer
3. 17th Annual Congress on Womens Health Convenes March 27-29, 2009 in Williamsburg, VA
4. Congressional Briefing on Civic Engagement
5. CDC Reports Drop in Adult Smoking, But Death Toll and Health Costs Are Still Growing; Congress, States Should Implement Proven Solutions
6. AHCA/NCAL Urge Congress to Protect Senior Care During Healthcare Reform Debate
7. After Financial Bailout, a Long Term Care Bailout? No, Industry Expert Says, Pointing to Recent Congressional Action
8. New Administration, Congress Must Act to Avert Health Workforce Crisis
9. Medicaid Health Plans of America Urges Congress to Pass Economic Recovery Package This Session Featuring Additional Funding for Medicaid
10. Hi-Tech Advances the Practice of Minimally Invasive Gynecology at AAGL Global Congress
11. Malaria No More Congratulates President-elect Obama and the New Congress and Urges Them to Uphold Their Strong Commitment to Eliminating Malaria
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of Yahweh, has released a ... books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The Book of Revelation paints a picture of ... have tossed it off as mere rubbish, but Yisrayl Hawkins says that is because ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the ... save lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission ... of the Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, ... ... and Dr. Cheng, are now treating sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus ... sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder characterized by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... PALM CITY, Fla. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... of cold therapy products, announced today the introduction of an innovative new design of ... the multipurpose pad so you get maximum comfort while controlling your pain while using ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... that we intend to develop to enable prevention of a major side effect ... hearing loss, especially in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing loss is FDA listed ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... Mich. , Oct. 2, 2017 Diplomat ... 8th Day Software and Consulting, LLC , and ... 8th Day Software, based in Tennessee ... LLC. 8th Day expands EnvoyHealth,s service offerings for health ... development. "In an ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2017  AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, the combined central specialty ... pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics LLC (Prime), today officially ... the unveiling of new signage at its headquarters in ... at a few other company-owned facilities across the country. ... some of whom will begin to see the AllianceRx ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2, 2017 The Rebound mobile app is poised ... reverse the tide of prescription drug addiction. The app empowers ... intake and stepping down their dosage in a safe, controlled ... December 2017; the first 100,000 people to sign up will ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: