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Senate approves tougher tobacco laws

29 Sep 2019. Senators in Switzerland have voted in favour of banning the sale of cigarettes to minors and stricter laws on tobacco advertisement, SWI reported.

The new restrictions come after an increase in public pressure and criticism from global health officials, bringing Switzerland’s tobacco laws in line with World Health Organisation standards. Switzerland will place stricter limits on tobacco advertising in print and online media, although advertising in cinemas, on consumer products and at the point of sale will still be permitted, provided it carries a warning label.

The new law will also prevent tobacco firms from sponsoring international events or any activities organised by the government. This comes after the foreign affairs ministry faced heavy criticism for allowing Philip Morris International to sponsor the Swiss Pavilion at the World Expo in Dubai, and were eventually forced to cancel the contract. The new law will also mean that tobacco companies will have to declare their annual spending on advertising, promotion and sponsorship to the Federal Office of Public Health, according to SWI.

New regulations on vaping are also being introduced, as anywhere with a smoking ban already in place will be called upon to ban vaping as well. This will include vapes that do not contain nicotine, as well as those that do. A motion was also submitted to reintroduce a tobacco tax on all electronic cigarettes.