A Cuban Ban

Cuba Set to Roll Out Ban on Cigar Smoking (Financial Times)

Fidel Castro’s plan to ban smoking in public places, due to come into force on Monday, appears to be a revolution too far for most Cubans.

Mr Castro, 78, is clamping down on the island’s Habano cigars and black tobacco cigarettes as part of a campaign to increase life expectancy to 80 years by 2010, up from the 75-76 average. But many doubt the “maximum leader” can make the law stick. Yuleisis Fonseca, a 27-year-old nurse, said Mr Castro would need an army of “extraterrestrials” to enforce the ban. “Where I work the doctors are the first to smoke and I promise you they are not about to stop.” The new law restricts smoking to designated areas in restaurants and nightclubs. “The objective is to contribute to a change in the attitudes of our population,” it states. That will not be easy.

It’s doubtful indeed, given how culturally embedded cigars have become in the country.

FILED UNDER: Latin America
Robert Garcia Tagorda
About Robert Garcia Tagorda
Robert blogged prolifically at OTB from November 2004 to August 2005, when career demands took him in a different direction. He graduated summa cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and earned his Master in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.