Honduras Will Bust Smokers ... at Home

Controversial law bans smoking within 6 feet of a non-smoker
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2011 8:14 AM CST

(Newser) – There's no place like home—except for Hondurans looking to have a smoke. Starting yesterday, it is illegal to smoke in any closed or indoor space, or within 6 feet of any non-smoker, even outdoors. And although the law does not explicitly ban smoking in your own home, it does state visitors or relatives can call cops if they are being exposed to second-hand smoke. One WHO official for Honduras, while praising the general scope of the law, said the part about family members being able to sic the cops on relatives doesn't "make much sense since the law clearly does not prohibit smoking at homes."

First-time offenders will get a verbal warning, but they'll face arrest and a fine equivalent to a month's salary for minimum-wage earners. About 30% of Hondurans are smokers, reports the AP, and local health authorities say that nine out of 10 people with acute bronchitis come from homes with a smoker. While some applaud the move, others question the government's priorities: "Police can barely keep up with the crime wave that has been overwhelming us to be able to go after those who are smoking at home," says one Honduran. (Read more Honduras stories.)

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