Amid a general trend toward increased freedoms for Burma’s citizens over the last two years, one segment of the population is facing a renewed campaign aimed at restricting their way of life: smokers.
Anti-tobacco campaigners are calling for stricter enforcement of a law limiting where smokers can light up, industry advertising and the form that sales of tobacco can take. The tobacco control law was enacted in 2006, but enforcement of its provisions has been lax or nonexistent, critics complain.
The law prohibits sale of tobacco to and by minors; sale of tobacco products within school compounds and within 100 feet of schools; sale of cigarettes in loose forms; and sale by vending machine. It also bans all forms of tobacco advertisements and requires printing health warnings in the local language on tobacco products, according to the Ministry of Health’s website.
The legislation was intended to limit minors’ access to tobacco in a country where 99 percent of all cancer deaths are tobacco-related.
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