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Chile Joins Growing Movement Against Tobacco in Latin America

February 08, 2013


Chilean President Sebastián Piñera has signed a new law that requires all enclosed public places to be smoke-free and includes marketing restrictions and other measures to reduce tobacco use. The new law continues Latin America’s rapid progress in fighting the tobacco epidemic and makes Chile the region's 14th country to go smoke-free.

The law's smoke-free requirement applies to all enclosed public spaces, including restaurants, bars, nightclubs, casinos and stadiums throughout the country. The law also bans smoking on live television before 10 pm and restricts tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

The law also requires tobacco companies to report annually to the Ministry of Health on donations and other expenses related to agreements with public institutions, sports organizations, academic institutions and other organizations. This will provide important information on a strategy the tobacco industry uses to gain influence and thwart measures to reduce tobacco use.

New York City Mayor and Philanthropist Michael R. Bloomberg praised Chile's new law:

President Sebastián Piñera's signing of life-saving tobacco control legislation enhances protection for more than 16 million Chileans — and countless future generations — from the dangers of tobacco products. By implementing proven solutions such as banning tobacco advertising and indoor smoking, Chile’s government is taking a strong stand in favor of public health.

Chile, which has the highest smoking rates in Latin America, is a priority country for Bloomberg Philanthropies' Tobacco Control Initiative, and we are honored to have been a part of the effort to pass this life-saving legislation. We congratulate them on this important victory.

Chile's new law continues Latin America's strong leadership in fighting tobacco use. The region's 14 smoke-free countries include Brazil, the world's largest smoke-free country. Many Latin American countries have also adopted other strong measures to reduce tobacco use, including graphic health warnings, tobacco tax increases and bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

We join Mayor Bloomberg and Bloomberg Philanthropies in applauding the government of Chile, including Minister of Health Jaime Manalich, for taking strong action against the world's number one of preventable death.

Tobacco Control Progress in Latin America, 2002-2013