Smoking Ban Update


Jun 18, 2005
Sometimes its hard to get a straight answer about whats really going on in argentina. (smile:)
The owner of one of the internet cafes i use tells me shes (sort of) sure that beginning Oct. 1, some places will begin banning smoking in public places. I posted once before about this in Uruguay, where they have a very strict ban in public places like bars, restaurants, and internet cafes and i saw it uniformly enforced. It was quite a contrast to argentina.
So, does anyone have any concrete proof about this impending ban? could they cite some sources or articles, etc. What will be the fines for non-enforcement? does it have the committment of politicians? is it local or for the whole province? etc?
Then second, for those of you who have been here a while, youll know that the police just stand there, they shrug their shoulders and say what can you do? Cars with no headlights, what can you do? too many examples to mention here, seriously.
Are you optimistic that there will be a ban on smoking in public places here or is it just cheap talk like we hear so often here. Are the little kids who breath in all of that 2nd hand smoke in the internet cafes be protected or will people just shrug their shoulders and say "what can you do?"
"JG" said:
Are you optimistic that there will be a ban on smoking in public places here or is it just cheap talk like we hear so often here. Are the little kids who breath in all of that 2nd hand smoke in the internet cafes be protected or will people just shrug their shoulders and say "what can you do?"
The law by itself won't suffice. What the government should do is start an advertising campaign -- TV, print media, and posters -- pointing out the dangers of second-hand smoke. The idea is to educate and change public opinion over a period of time; eventually a social consensus against second-hand smoke will emerge. The law has to be in consonance with public opinion: they reinforce each other.
I see you have succumbed to cynicism and despair with regard to Argentina. You need more faith.
If I am not mistaken, the second phase of the smoking restriction law will go into effect in mid October. The first phase (no smoking in public buildings) is already in force. From what I can tell American companies are leading the way. They were among the first (probably the first) to ban smoking and enforce the ban. Public consciousness in Argentina is growing. The new law will create confusion at first - especially as it is somewhat ambiguous unlike Uruguay's total ban. Many Argentines have told me that they do not believe that the law will be respected. I believe that in time it will be. There is a difference between the police not enforcing seat belt regulations and smoking bans. Smoke blows in the faces of non-smokers. Those who do not use seat belts put their own lives at risk, not necessarily the lives of others. Despite the disarray of law here, there is a legal system that can work. Restaurant/bar customers who are offended can take legal action. Owners will not want to deal with hiring lawyers to fight an existing law. Before long tong the restrictions will be respected (as they are on buses, subways and trains) - that's my view.
Article 21 C of Law 1799 of the City of Buenos Aires states as follows:

"Restaurantes, bares, confiterías y casas de lunch que tengan una superficie útil igual o superior a cien metros cuadrados destinada a la atención al público, de los que podrán destinar como máximo el 30% para las personas fumadoras."

This means that restaurants/"bars" of 100 meters or more (as of October 1,2006) must allow smoking in no more than 30% of the restaurant. If the establishment has under 100 meters NO smoking will be allowed.
Ive been continuing to politely ask restaurant and internet cafe managers if smoking will be permitted in October, so far no one has any idea. One said hes waiting to hear guidance from City Hall and hasnt. The others just say they have no idea.
As i read what Chris sent i see it makes no mention of shopping malls or internet cafes. i guess i was overly optomistic. In uruguary there is currently (and i witnessed the law followed) no smoking in either malls or internet cafes, even small cafes.
My guess is the city did this just to make it look good (like the headlight law and the motorcycle helmet law and the mandatory muffler law, and.......)
Im sorry to hear Chris´ information that it will still be permitted in 30% of the space. I went to shopping center Abasto over the weekend. my eyes were red, throat soar, clean clothes reeked of tobacco afterwards. Will any of this change, thats what i want to know.
Does the new law make shopping centers and discos smoke free? How about the typical bar?
When i was in Asia, lots of people smoked, but they all seemed to know it was bad and addictive, even if they didnt understand exactly why it caused various cancers and other serious health problems. Here my guess is theyre taught at home (yes even in 2006) that its fine. Youve got to die anyway.
Yes, smoking will be banned at cybercafes and locutorios. I was referring specifically to the clause of law 1799 that refers to restaurants and bars. Go to google and type in Ley 1799, Ciudad de Buenos Aires. You will find it as I did. All the details are there. Things are disorganized here, so it it no surprise that restaurant owners are uninformed. As I said before, the seat belt law is different. Who is going to initiate legal action for not enforcing the seat belt law? On the other hand, there are simple legal procedures citizens can take to compell restaurant/bar owners and others to comply.
Well, its banned on paper. lets see what happens on sunday when i goes into effect.
In expect there will be some problems in the transition period. If you have problems you should complain to the management. If they don´t respond you can file a complaint. Keep in mind that restaurants of over 100 meters will be allowed up to 30% smoking space.
Its Sunday aft., i went into 2 internet cafes today. both times no smoking. no signs on window or door, but a piece of paper they put up. Well its the 1st day.
Im interested in hearing reports from around the city. What are you finding throughout the week as you use cibercafe and restaurants and bars, etc? Ive been waiting for this date, watching the calendar.
Its a banner day (sort of a pun) for all those who want to protect their health and their childrens health against 2nd hand tobacco smoke.
From Saturday's Herald: "The ban affects cafes, restaurants, gyms and any enclosed space available for public use. Not included are prisons, mental health centres, tobacconists and smokers' clubs. The city has opened a hotline (0800-999-2727) for enquiries or to report law breakers. Rewards for informers range from 50 to 500 pesos, and fines for proprietors who allow smoking in premises smaller than 100 square meters could be anywhere from 500 to 2,000 pesos. Those who fail to inform their customers of the ban face fines of 250 to 1,000 pesos. These fines would lead to closure of the premises for 30 days".