New Smoking Bans to Be Introduced?

Total Croatia News

Croatia could soon get a new public smoking law.

For the second time within a year, a draft law on smoking has been put to a public debate. Health Minister Milan Kujundžić, just like his predecessor Dario Nakić, received a proposal which harmonizes national legislation with EU directives, which should have been implemented in May. As in many other EU countries, the introduction of new smoking rules is late in Croatia as well, although manufacturers recently started selling cigarettes in packages with warning photographs of consequences which smoking has on the health of smokers, reports on December 12, 2016.

The new law stipulates that 65 percent of the packaging of tobacco products must be covered by a warning about hazards and pictures of diseased organs. All “light”, “slim”, organic and similar variants of the products will be banned, and the same goes for promotional discounts, smoking in public places, including during public performances except on film. In addition to defining the hospitality and other venues where smoking will be prohibited or allowed, the law give a right to town and municipal authorities to adopt a special decision and completely ban smoking in part of their public spaces. However, there is no specific explanation which areas can be covered by such decision.

The Ministry of Health will financially support initiatives for reduction of smoking habits, especially among young people, and will also establish a ten member committee for that purpose. On the other hand, in spite of the prohibition on all forms of promotion of their products, the tobacco industry will have to inform the Ministry of Health about any new product that they intend to place on the Croatian market. In addition to notification, they will be asked to submit a description of their product, in order to determine whether it fulfils all the regulations, and scientific studies on the toxicity of the new product. Somewhat absurdly, the producers will also have to submit market research about consumer preferences. Monitoring of implementation of these rules will be entrusted to an army of inspectors, from sanitary and health to market and tourism inspectors, and even customs officials.

Penalties for violations in the sale of cigarettes can be the prohibition of work for half a year, and fines between 70,000 and 100,000 kuna for companies. Smoking in public places where smoking is banned will be fined by 1,000 kuna. The public consultation period will conclude on 9 January, and by early February the law should be ready for parliamentary procedure. It will come into effect immediately after adoption.


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