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Guatemala's Congress Takes Action to Save Lives By Approving Strong Smoke-free Legislation
Date:11/26/2008

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.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080918/CFTFKLOGO)

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 ac
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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