On 29 November 2006, the National Congress approved Decree 180-2006, which prohibits smoking in any indoor public place. It is expected that the decree would be approved for regulation.
In 2008 the desired outcomes in the progress of tobacco control in Honduras were not achieved. Decree 180-2006 has not yet been regulated. The Tobacco Industry (BATCA – Honduras) put up obstacles at government level, particularly with the Secretary of Commerce and Industry and the National Congress. This is reflected in the Health Commission’s ruling on the proposed tobacco control law which favours the industry and contradicts various articles in the FCTC.
In spite of this, both government agencies (represented by the Honduran Institute Against Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, and Drug Dependence – IHADFA), and civil society organizations, particularly the Honduran Tobacco Control Alliance, and the National Association Against Drugs (ANCOD), continue to work on this issue.
At the request of IHADFA, the National Commission for Protection Against Tobacco (CONAPROCTA) was formed, with participation from various sectors in the following working groups: Politics and legislation, Information and communications strategies, and Promotion of healthy environments. In the past few months CONAPROCTA has been working on a new draft of the proposed tobacco control law that includes all aspects of prohibition and regulation established in the FCTC, to substitute the proposed law currently in Congress, which CONAPROCTA rejects. This document is now finished and will be presented to the Legislative Chamber this month. Although legislative decree 180-2006 has not yet been regulated, the vast majority of enclosed public places are smokefree.
Smokefree resources available in 2009
Civil society organizations have engaged in different activities, including: the Human Cemetary, organized by ANCOD in front of BATCA’s offices in Tegucigalpa and which included participation from student groups; a sit-in in front of the BATCA offices and the presentation of a “Scroll” to the Tobacco Industry accrediting it with being first place in corporate social irresponsibility.
In addition to the activities to commemorate World No Tobacco Day (marches, forums, painting contests, quilts, etc.), other education and promotion activities were conducted on National No Tobacco Day. This coincided with the call to protest against the tobacco industry through forums, media outreach, and other efforts.
The Honduran Tobacco Control Alliance organized a “Enlighten conscience, sew the future” workshop in January 2009. The event was very successful and inspired 12 similar events through representatives of the Medical Colleges in different cities.
HTCA continues to work with students in secondary school, as well as students in the College of Medicine, on research projects.
Factors helping or hindering the implementation of Article 8
There is a strong negative influence from the tobacco industry BATCA (BAT Central America), whose headquarters are in Honduras. As many non-smokers are still tolerant of smoking environments, awareness of the health effects of secondhand smoke needs to be raised.
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