06 Jul 2010
The Honduran National Congress has approved a tobacco control law to protect people in Honduras from one of the world’s deadliest public health epidemics – tobacco use.
The new law includes smoke-free environments; 80 per cent graphic warnings; bans on tobacco promotion; cessation programs; bans on internet and mail-order sales; and alternative tobacco crops for farmers.
Honduras has almost eight million people, and of these roughly 300 million packets of cigarettes are consumed every year, according to figures from the National Institute for Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco Control in Honduras (IHADFA).
IHADFA figures also show that smokers spend about 18 per cent of their monthly incomes on cigarettes, and that 35 out of every 100 Hondurans start smoking when they are around nine years old.
The new approved tobacco control legislation contains 72 articles that include evidence-based measures proven to reduce tobacco use.
• Require 100 per cent smoke-free environments in all private and public work places.
• Demand large pictorial health warnings that cover 80 per cent of the front and back of tobacco packages.
• Prohibit all tobacco advertising, promotions, and sponsorship.
• Support tobacco cessation programs.
Congress approved the law on 9 June 2010 but a date is still not set for it to enter into force. The Honduras government’s newspaper must officially launch the law, which is thought to happen after July 10 when congress returns from its break. Once this is done, authorities will have six months to regulate the new law.