|Cigarette advertising is not advertising...|
|...when the cigarette company says it isn't.|
The owner of one of these stores told me that the law prohibited them from displaying the actual cigarette boxes they're selling in view of customers, which presumably is to keep them out of sight of young people. I pointed out that this law hasn't been enforced at all against the street vendors, who also continue selling loose smokes, which is also prohibited, including to children.
"The law is only applied to us," the storeowner said, "the ones who pay taxes." He's correct.
|A street vendor sells loose cigarettes, illegaly, |
on Plaza San Victorino
But smoking remains epidemic, particularly among young people, who easily buy tobacco, which kills some 22,000 Colombians every year. Tragically, that death rate, which far exceeds the number killed in the country's armed conflict, is likely to increase.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours