Published: Thursday 15 August 1996

Smokers will find it all the more difficult to take a puff as a recently enforced law prohibits smoking in enclosed places. But the law does not carry any punitive measures in case it is broken. The Congress passed a law last month, sanctioned by President Cardoso, which bans smoking "in any enclosed place, public or private, except in areas designated specifically to that end and duly isolated and ventilated". But until penalties are introduced by state or municipal laws, smokers are not likely to be dragged into any new legal suits because of their habit.

Welcoming the law, Congressperson Elias Murad who drafted the law, said, "This is a big step forward. We already had some restrictions, but this law leaves no doubt that smoking in any collective area, including the workplace, is prohibited." The law also bans tv and radio tobacco advertising between six am and nine pm and advertisers will have to face penalties ranging from fines to seizure of goods in case of a breach.

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