The Presidency of the Republic of Paraguay adopted Decree 4624, on 29 December 2020, which modifies Decree 7606/2017 that regulates Law 5538 on tobacco control. The new decree regulates the consumption of tobacco products, including heated tobacco products and electronic cigarettes, with or without nicotine; consumption of these products can only occur in open-air places or areas where there is no crowd or assembly of people or where there are no passageways for non-smokers.
This regulation is a hallmark in the tobacco control efforts in Paraguay, strengthening the protection of the population from the exposure to tobacco smoke, and creating a smoke-free sub-region in the Americas, joining the trend observed in other Parties in Latin America. The measures to establish smoke-free environments, in line with Article 8 of the WHO FCTC and its guidelines for implementation, provide a range of public health benefits, including a decrease in tobacco consumption and in youth smoking initiation, as well as the motivation of smokers to quit, without a negative economic impact, particularly on the hospitality industry.
This new measure responds also to the Covid-19 pandemic, as patients with respiratory and cardiovascular diseases have a worse prognosis of Covid-19. The Decree also aims at reducing the possible transmission of the virus through those tobacco users that may be asymptomatic and disseminating the virus through the exhalation of smoke.
The full text of the Decree is available through this link (in Spanish).
For more information, please contact Dr Guillermo Sequera, Director General of Health Surveillance, Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
For the latest information on tobacco control in Paraguay, please, see this webpage.