A remarkable public health victory in Kazakhstan
The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, approved on 8 July 2020 a comprehensive set of tobacco control measures as part of the so called Health Act. This legislation is finally adopted after strong efforts by the tobacco industry to interfere in this regulation process.
Article 110 of the new law introduces several elements, in line with the requirements under the Convention and the decisions by the Conference of the Parties. The definition of tobacco products is expanded to include all nicotine products, such as heated tobacco products and electronic cigarettes. Additionally, the import, production, sale and distribution of smokeless tobacco products has been banned in the country.
The list of places considered as smoke-free has been expanded to cover bus stops, outdoor playgrounds, underground walkways, transit areas and cars with children. The use of new products is also banned in these places and, more strictly, smoking waterpipes is only allowed at homes. Additionally, the fines for those violating these requirements have been increased.
The manufacturers of tobacco product are now mandated to disclose information on the content of all products containing nicotine. In line with Article 11 of the WHO FCTC, the pictorial health warnings to be displayed on tobacco packages have increased their size from 50% to 65% of the display area.
The display of tobacco products at point-of-sale is now banned, eliminating this form of advertising and promotion used by the tobacco industry, as recommended by the Guidelines for the implementation of Article 13. Moreover, in order to protect the youth from initiating tobacco use, the legal age to purchase tobacco products has been raised from 18 to 21 years of age.
This new legislation is the result of the collaboration between the national authorities and the tobacco control community, avoiding the strong tobacco lobby in the country, aiming at strengthening and protecting the implementation of the WHO FCTC from the influence of the tobacco industry, and therefore protecting the life and well-being of the Kazakhs.
More information is available from the following sites (in Russian):
110 tobacco control article of the Health Act.
Press release of the Smokefree Kazakstan Coalition.