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Puerto Rico goes smoke-free

Travel & news discussion about Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico goes smoke-free

Postby KarenS » Fri Mar 03, 2006 8:54 am

According to US Newswire: "WASHINGTON, March 2-- The following is a statement by Patricia Sosa, vice president for constituency relations, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, on the new smoke-free workplace law in Puerto Rico:

By signing into law one of the strongest smoke-free workplace laws in the United States, Puerto Rico Governor Anibal Acevedo Vila today delivered a historic victory for public health and the public's right to breathe clean air. The new law covers all Puerto Rico workplaces and public buildings, including restaurants and bars, as well as cars carrying passengers younger than 13. Puerto Rico's leaders have taken appropriate action to protect workers and families from secondhand smoke, which is a proven cause of lung cancer, heart disease and other serious health hazards. No one should have to choose between a good job and good health.

We applaud Governor Acevedo Vila and the legislators who have championed the new law for their leadership in protecting the health of all Puerto Ricans. Puerto Rico has now implemented two of the best policies to protect its citizens from the devastating toll of tobacco - a comprehensive smoke-free workplace law and a high cigarette tax of $1.23 per pack (the national average is 92.3 cents per pack). These actions will benefit Puerto Rico for generations to come by improving health, saving lives and saving money by reducing tobacco-related health care costs.

Puerto Rico's action underscores the growing momentum across the nation and the world to enact smoke-free workplace laws that protect all workers and customers from the serious hazards of secondhand smoke. Puerto Rico joins the 12 states that have passed a statewide smoke-free law that includes restaurants and bars. These states are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont and Washington (the Montana and Utah laws extend to bars in 2009). Washington, DC, has also passed such a law, which will cover bars on January 2, 2007. Two other states - Florida and Idaho - have smoke-free laws that exempt only stand-alone bars. Hundreds of cities and counties across the country have also taken action, as have whole countries including Ireland, England, Norway, New Zealand, Sweden and Italy. On Wednesday, Uruguay implemented its strong smoke-free law. It's time for every state and community in the country to protect the public's right to breathe clean air."

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