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Portugal proposes smoking ban in public

Written by: Staff

Lisbon, Apr 8: Portugal's government has proposed measures to ban indoor smoking in public places, joining other countries that have barred tobacco use in enclosed areas.

The Socialist government proposed on Thursday to limit smoking, including a ban in workplaces, restaurants, shopping centres and on public transport.

''This is a law that has to do with citizenship, where people have the right to demand that their health not be affected if they don't want it to be,'' Health Minister Antonio Correia de Campos told private SIC television.

The government will allow for a period of public discussion and expects the new measures to go into effect next year.

Correia de Campos said 31 per cent of Portuguese men and 18 perent of women smoke and that smoking causes 26 per cent of all cancer deaths.

The government wants to ban smoking in all offices, but proposed exceptions for large leisure and entertainment venues with separate, ventilated smoking sections.

The proposed law also calls for graphic photos of organs damaged by smoking to be displayed on cigarette packs.

The National Doctors' Association welcomed the move, but said the graphic photos are ''ineffective and in bad taste''.

Any smoker who violates the proposed law could face a fine of up to 1,000 euros (1,220 dollars). Establishments which break the smoking ban would face a fine of up to 2,500 euros.


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