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    World No-Tobacco Day in LAC: Bolivia to Introduce Control Bill

    By Keith R | June 6, 2007

    Topics: Health Issues, Tobacco Control | No Comments »

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    On World No-Tobacco Day (31 May) Bolivia’s Health Minister announced that the government is sending a tobacco control framework bill to Congress. Among other things, the bill will ban smoking in enclosed public places, prohibit most advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products, and toughen labels and health warnings. The only details yet to be agreed before sending the bill to Congress, she said, are the precise sanctions the bill will call for given violations of the new rules.

    The number of regular smokers in Bolivia has gone from 744,575 in 1992 to over 2 million by 2005. According to a recent survey of Bolivians done by the Latin American Center for Scientific Research (Centro Latinoamericano de Investigación CientíficaCELIN), 2,973,830 Bolivians have tried smoking at least once in their lives, those that smoke one or more times a year number 2,106,773, one or more times a month 1,528,912, and one or more times a week 954,773.

    By economic strata, the upper class has the highest smoking prevalence (39.6%), followed by the middle class (30.3%) and lower class (26.4%). By profession, drivers (truckers, bus and taxi drivers, etc.) smoke the most, followed by military men, businessmen and laborers. The Bolivian department (akin to a state or province) with the highest prevalence is Pando, followed by Beni, La Paz and Potosí.

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