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Big Blow to Brazil's Cigarette Industry
New ban on smoking in bars and restaurants
Antonio Carlos Rix (carlosrix)     Print Article 
Published 2009-08-13 19:03 (KST)   
Time is running out for indoor smoking in Sao Paulo.

Hourglass count down to call the attention to the new law
©2009 Antonio Carlos Rix

Since August 7, anti-smoking laws enacted in the state of Sao Paulo in Brazil, have made bars and restaurants become healthier places to frequent. The new law prohibits indoor smoking in all collective establishments.

Previous legislation that banned smoking failed because they addressed the individual smokers. This time it's different because the new legislation targets the owners of bars and other establishments that allow indoor smoking.

According to the government (www.leiantifumo.sp.gov.br), "The measure follows an international trend to restrict smoking, already adopted in cities like New York, London, Paris and Buenos Aires."

Hourglass - Giovannette on the backgrand
©2009 Antonio Carlos Rix

I went to a couple of bars in Campinas where I live and asked people what they thought of the new law. Many bars like Giovannette (above), Eden Bar and Tonico's have already started to request their clients not to smoke one week before the law was enacted.

Toninho, manager at Giovannette
©2009 Antonio Carlos Rix

Antonio Jose Pinheiro (above), manager at Giovanette, told me they requested it before hand so people would get used before the very day. "We don't want to be fined," he said. "Many people complain, it is not easy to tell them not to smoke," he added.

Strong Campaign

To attract the public's attention to guarantee the success of the new law, the Sao Paulo State government developed an extensive campaign on the streets. One such measure were the hourglass stands set in many key areas in all major cities of the state to count down the start up of the ban.

After August 7 indoor smoking in public places will not be permitted.
©2009 Antonio Carlos Rix

In another measure, young people delivered pamphlets (above) all week to inform people about details about the ban.

Paulo Renato and His friend Luiz Gustavo (bellow) who were at Giovannette during happy hour said that they agree with the ban, but they showed concern about the rights of the smokers.

Paulo and Luiz have questions about the smoking ban
©2009 Antonio Carlos Rix

If the new law is violated, the establishment will receive a fine that will double in recurring offenses. If the establishment is caught a third time, it will be closed for 48 hours. And further offenses will result in a 30 days shut-down.

Claudia Ordine thinks the law is hard but loves the idea of clean air
©2009 Antonio Carlos Rix

The new law does not prohibit the act of smoking, it only restricts it. Smoking is still permitted within the home, and in public open areas.

Claudia Ordine, H&R consultant, told me that she likes the new law and hopes it does work. She likes to hang out in bars with music to chat with friends and have some drinks but she doesn't like the smell of cigarettes. "I am glad it will be over" she added.

Luiz Toshio (right) and his friends question the fact they pay more taxes because they smoke
©2009 Antonio Carlos Rix

Interviewing people from place to place led me to Tonico's bar (my favorite), the Samba Temple of Campinas. That night there was great music from BONS TEMPOS samba group.

Even in open areas if there is a shelter, then, you can not smoke under it.
©2009 Antonio Carlos Rix

Many people there, hoped that the new law would work out, but smokers are also tax payers and so some flexibility is probably necessary. For instance, under the new legislation, no one can open a cigar bar. I think this should be permitted and the government should also allow special areas for smoking within establishments.

Tatiane Roberta (second from left) can smoke outside the sheltered place.
©2009 Antonio Carlos Rix

For now, know that what's best for your health is not to smoke. And just to close up with some nice music from Brazil, that contrary to smoking will do only good to you, here is a little bit of the show I saw, I hope you enjoy it as much.

Reporting is really very nice sometimes!

You may check the whole set of commented pictures at Flickr [http://www.flickr.com/photos/glowpics/sets/72157621797660807/]
©2009 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Antonio Carlos Rix

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