PARAMARIBO, Suriname, CMC – The National Assembly has passed legislation outlawing smoking in public.
“This is truly a historic moment for Suriname. With the approval of the tobacco law parliament is handing government a tool to further improve the health of our community,” said Theo Vishnudatt who chaired the Parliamentary committee that spearheaded the new legislation.
The Anti-Tobacco Law passed by a 39-13 margin on Thursday, allows people to smoke at home, in their cars or other private places.
Anyone violating the law could be jailed and the law also bans the advertising of cigarettes, which must now be packaged with graphic warnings that smoking kills.
“We have been preparing this legislation for years. What we want is a law that works and achieves the goal we’re after, which is a smoke-free Suriname,” Health Minister Michael Blokland said.
Blokland said that that once smoking in public is banned, people might get encouraged to quit.