Swiss Federal Council to ban tobacco advertising in print, shops and online
After Swiss citizens voted in favour of a ban on tobacco advertising where children are present, the Federal Council announced its plans to ban the advertising of tobacco in the press, on the internet and at the point of sale. The council reasoned that it would be impossible to guarantee that children would not be exposed to cigarette ads in these locations, so has proposed a blanket ban.
Swiss government instructed by referendum to ban tobacco ads
In the February round of Swiss referendums in 2022, voters contradicted the wishes of the government and narrowly approved the “Tobacco Advertising Ban” initiative by 56,7 percent to 43,4 percent. The referendum was designed to ban the advertising of cigarettes and other tobacco-based products wherever children are present.
Currently, Switzerland allows some forms of tobacco advertising, with some cantons even allowing cigarette ads on billboards in cities. With a new amendment to the Tobacco Products Act, the Federal Council is hoping to extend the ban that started with TV and radio stations.
Federal Council reasons it will be impossible to shield children from ads
In a statement given to the Tages-Anzeiger, the council reasoned that it could not guarantee that children would not read certain newspapers or magazines, be untargeted for cigarette ads on the internet, or avoid kiosks and stalls which sell tobacco. Therefore, the law is set to ban the advertising of all tobacco products in the press, on the internet and at points of sale, in order to enact what was voted for in February.
The plan has now been submitted to the parliament in Bern for consultation. If no objections are raised, the ban will be approved in November.