Swiss February referendums 2022: Smoking ad ban passes in historic win

Swiss February referendums 2022: Smoking ad ban passes in historic win

The results of the latest Swiss referendums have been revealed. After a close-fought campaign, the smoking advertising ban was victorious at the polls, with the stamp tax reform, animal testing ban and media funding initiatives falling short.

Swiss smoking ad ban passes at referendum

In the latest round of Swiss referendums, there was a historic victory for the campaign to ban smoking advertisements where children are present. The popular vote was opposed by the Swiss government, who argued the measures were too extreme.

The vote passed by 56,6 percent to 43,4, making it only the 25th popular referendum (referendum submitted by the public) to pass since 1896. The margin of the vote means that the government must react to their demands, and place their own plans for restricting tobacco ads on hold.

Media funding vote splits Swiss public

In the closest result of the afternoon, supporters of the referendum to give media companies direct government support were left disappointed, with the initiative only earning 45,4 percent of the vote. The idea was to give media companies direct government funding in order to preserve regional reporting in Switzerland.

However, the initiative faced stiff resistance from activists, who ran on a campaign arguing that the money would not be used to fund regional media and be instead used to line the pockets of big media companies. Around 54,6 percent seemed to agree.

Stamp duty reform fails in Switzerland

The second closest vote was the government’s own attempt to modify business taxes, by eliminating the stamp tax (or stamp duty) in certain situations. The move was designed to prepare Switzerland for OECD plans for a minimum corporate tax rate, which would significantly impact Swiss cantons, who have some of the lowest business tax rates in the world.

At the ballot box, the initiative failed to attract enough voters, earning only 37,3 percent of the vote and winning only one canton, Zug.

Animal testing ban fails to pass

By the largest margin of the day, the referendum to ban animal and human testing in Switzerland, and to ban the import of goods that use animal tests, was rejected by 79,1 percent of Swiss citizens who voted. The idea of banning animal testing was criticised by the government, as it feared the decision would impact international companies in the country, particularly pharmaceutical businesses.

Swiss referendums February 2022 election results

Here are the Swiss referendum results for February 2022 in full:

No tobacco ads for children and young adults: 

  • Total votes: 2.420.125
  • Votes in favour: 1.370.137 (56,6 percent)
  • Votes against: 1.049.988 (43,4 percent)
  • Cantons in favour: 15
  • Cantons against: 11

Measures to benefit the Media (Media funding initiative):

  • Total votes: 2.388.480
  • Votes in favour: 1.085.237 (45,4 percent)
  • Votes against: 1.303.243 (54,6 percent)
  • Cantons in favour: 7
  • Cantons against: 19

Federal Act on Stamp Duties (Stamp tax reform):

  • Total votes: 2.363.447
  • Votes in favour: 882.335 (37,3 percent)
  • Votes against: 1.481.112 (62,7 percent)
  • Cantons in favour: 1
  • Cantons against: 25

The ban on animal and human experiments:

  • Total votes: 2.394.476
  • Votes in favour: 500.937 (20,9 percent)
  • Votes against: 1.893.539 (64,9 percent)
  • Cantons in favour: 0
  • Cantons against: 26

Find out more about the next Swiss referendums

The next set of Swiss national referendums are due to take place on May 15, 2022. For more information on the next round of elections, check out the official government website.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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