Smoking Ban Uruguay


Jun 18, 2005
i decided to post this under "expat life" rather than articles, because, well, it effects my daily life here. Im a non smoker (a life long addiction that eventually kills you slowly isnt my scene) and the porteños smoke in the subway station each time i use it, in the supermarkets here in san telmo, on each side of me in the internet cafe, and well, constantly. In short, all day long. Ive seen pregnant women smoking here, sadly.
So, i was pleased to read about the smoking ban in public places and work places that went into effect today in our neighbor across the river, Uruguay. Heres a bit of the article and im sure its on my news sites. jerry

Public Smoking Ban Takes Effect in Uruguay By RAUL GARCES

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) - Uruguayans are saying ``adios'' to tobacco smoke in the workplace, shopping malls and many other enclosed public spaces, thanks to a new law promoted by a local cancer specialist - who also happens to be the nation's president.

The law, which went into effect Wednesday, aims to reshape the habits of as many as 1 million smokers in this small South American nation and penalizes lighting up in offices, shops, restaurants and other indoor areas.

Leftist President Tabare Vazquez, a practicing oncologist who saw patients even as he took office, had pushed for the law. Its implementation coincides with the first anniversary of his taking office.
A similar law has been passed by the BA legislature. According to the March 2 BA Herald the law is being phased in gradually. On March 1 smoking in government buildings was banned. In October the law will apply to private venues. In January, 2007 cigarette street advertising will be outlawed. Does anyone have more detailed information about the private venue banning? Will ALL smoking in restaurants, for example, be prohibited?
Just found this thread. Was already thinking I`m the only guy who has a hard time going out in Argentina, with people billowing smoke in your face wherever you go, even on the sidewalks!
I know there`s nothing we can do yet about smoking in train stations, bus stops, and other public and open places. But in subway stations, the smoking ban has been in place FOREVER.!
Smoking has NEVER been allowed at all once inside the subway system tunnels and walkways. If they`re doing it, it`s wrong. Check out for signs anywhere, or on the maps.
I`m still finishing an article on coping with smoking down here, but let me give you an advance in the form of a tip.
In the subte, trains, buses, planes, boats, as in ANY place you see someone smoking in view of a non-smoking sign or where you are POSITIVE it`s not allowed, just MAKE A BIG FUSS and you`ll get them to stop! Don`t just sit there and take it.! They KNOW it`s wrong but try and get away with it anyway because no locals ever set them straight. I can count with the fingers in one hand the times a local pointed out a smoking violation to the culprit or an authority.
Even after the October ban comes into effect, we`ll ALL NEED to be our own POLICEMEN in order to ensure full compliance. Just make sure of one thing. It`s best to have as many impartial bystanders close enough to hear what you say. Don`t whisper or act shy, they`ll just ignore you and keep on till they finish the cigarrette. Make a scene if necessary. Say you`re allergic, or have asthma. If you see a security guard (who`s not smoking too, lol), or other employee draw their attention. But if you are the minority and have no others non-smokers nearby, well, minority`s rights are not very well defended by the local Constitution and laws, sorry to say.
OK, more to come in my article.
Try being pregnant here, going to the mall, grocery store, or even my spanish classes at the school are a hazard for me.
Since Ive been here, Ive observed the rather selfish porteños and the police who just stand there as cars with no headlights fly by, pedestrians are nearly killed in a crosswalk, etc.
Im not optimistic about this smoking ban in public places being enforced and respected when it goes into effect. I was even surprised to see it work in Uruguay. I was able to eat anywhere and use any cibercafe there without smoke.
Cordobas smoking ban recently went into effect. I would love to know how its working. Has anyone been there very recently (ban went into effect about a month ago)?
At least two of the provinces have passed smoking bans. I have no idea how it is working. I have had positive reports about Uruguay from friends there. As for somoking in Argentina - I have never seen smoking in the subways or buses in BA. Smoking is also prohibited on long distance buses and trains. On many trips I have NEVER seen smoking. I believe the transition in restaurants will be difficult but eventualy will work despite the negativism of many Portenos on the subject. Keep in mind that it will not be a total ban - restaurants of 100 meters or les will have no smoking. More than more meters will have 70% non smoking. You can be sure that to avoid the ban, resrtaurants will count toilets, kitchens, closets, stairs, etc. The effectiveness of the ban will depend on the insistence of the public. Complainers may have to send cartas documeto to make their point. I believe it will ultimately work.