Paraguay - no smoking law to be strictly enforced - we hope....

April 12, 2010 - Smoking in every closed public place, including business meetings held in private places has been banned in Paraguay. The order has been put to action with effect from Saturday, April 10th. President Fernando Lugo of Paraguay (see image above) made the announcement and issued a warning of serious legal action being taken against all those who violate the order.

Victor San Martin, the representative of the anti-smoking policy on behalf of the Paraguayan ministry issued the statement. Any individual or a public or private establishment that does not abide by the norms in the order will be held guilty under the Health Ministry of the country.

Hence, under the order, nobody inside a shopping area, or restaurant or bar can light up a cigarette or smoke. If he or she is caught doing so, it may result in severe punishment under the law. The decree was passed last Saturday in the town of Asuncion in Paraguay.

Although smoking has been banned in public places in countries across the world, the ban is not really followed strictly by anybody, especially by those who love to smoke. So it is yet to be seen whether the ministry in Paraguay is successful in tackling the malice of smoking or not. Cigarette or tobacco in any form comes with a statutory warning that warns the consumer about the possible medical repercussions of smoking a cigarette. However, it is a well know fact that neither legal restrictions nor educating the consumer has really curbed the practice of smoking.

Argentina tops the list of countries that smoke the most in Latin America, consuming 1,014 cigarettes annually for every inhabitant over age 15, followed by Paraguay, with annual consumption of 968 cigarettes, and Chile, with 909, while Peru has the lowest cigarette consumption in the region at 129 annually per inhabitant. (Argentina - Latin America’s biggest smokers..)

Paraquay is also one of the top producer of contraband tobacco..
Reference: Paraguay Bans Smoking by Gina Gomez, Thaindian News, 4/11/2010.