The legal context of tobacco control in Nicaragua is favorable to FCTC implementation, as advanced measures already exist for the regulation of the distribution, promotion and advertising of tobacco. There is a law on “Non-Smokers Rights” under which the following places are 100% smokefree: governmental facilities, public transport, theatres, museums, elementary and junior high schools, and airports.
In January 2008 the political environment allowed the legislators to be influenced, so a visit was arranged by representatives of the National Council for Prevention and Control of Tobacco from Guatemala, with financial support from ACS. It aimed to secure State commitment for tobacco control. It also aimed to consolidate a civilian organisation move tobacco control forward and gain support from the academic sector and international health organisations. As a result of the visit the FCTC was ratified in on 24 January 2008 and the National Anti-tobacco Council of Nicaragua was conformed.
During this visit a meeting was held with Depute Luis Callejas, Vice President of the National Congress, who expressed his interest in implementing Article 8 and Article 13 of the FCTC. The draft bill is currently being reviewed by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and the National Anti-tobacco Council from Guatemala. It proposes a ban on indoor workplaces, public transport, public gathering places, hospitals, cinemas, educational establishments, indoor and outdoor sporting events. Smoking areas are allowed in restaurants, bars, clubs, hotels, casinos and other recreational centres.
Smokefree resources available in 2008
The National Anti-tobacco Council from Nicaragua has been conformed. It brings together more than 15 organizations, including universities, hospitals, medical associations, Ministry of Health.
Public education materials/implementation or enforcement materials
As tobacco control has not been a priority, little progress has been made with materials for implementing Article 8.
Needs related to implementing smokefree policies
Funding for activities.
Tobacco control to become a higher priority for the Government.
Factors helping or hindering the implementation of Article 8
The main obstacle to implementation of Article 8 is the tobacco industry, which is directly lobbying the National Congress, and working closely with restaurants and hotel owners.
Other countries that have influenced smokefree laws
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