Peru Congress passes law banning smoking in public places

Peru’s congress approved a law on Tuesday banning smoking inside public places, including workplaces, hotels, restaurants, bars and casinos, daily El Comercio reported.

The General Law for the Prevention and Control of Tobacco Risks will give business owners a maximum of one year to adapt their business to the new legislation, according to lawmaker Alda Lazo.

“We want well-being and health, above all for future generations, youth and children,” Lazo said.

The law will also require consumer warning labels on both sides of cigarette packs as well as banning the sale of tobacco products in packages with less than 10 units, state news agency Andina reported.

Lawmakers approved the law with 60 votes in favor, four against and 13 absentees.

A 2009 report by British American Tobacco found that less than 15 percent of the adult population smokes in Peru. The rate of consumption had reportedly dropped by 20 percent between 2006 and 2009. A person is considered a smoker when he or she consumes between 5 and 7 cigarettes per week.

Latin America’s greatest cigarette consumers are Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Bolivia.

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