news: CUBA

Smoking ban

Cuba, the home of the cigar, has brought in tough new regulations on tobacco smoking in public places. It is now banned in most work places and cigarette machines are being removed. Almost half of all Cuban adults smoke, and tobacco and cigar exports are vital to the country’s economy, generating more than 200 million dollars a year. In the hours before the resolution came into effect, many Cubans appeared unaware of it as the government had been low key in promoting what, on paper, are among the toughest anti-smoking regulations in the world. Cuba says it wants to change the attitude of its population towards tobacco, but it will be battling a culture that goes back five centuries, even though some 6,000 Cubans die from smoking-related illnesses every year.