Swiss tobacco ad ban for children on course for historic victory, poll finds

Swiss tobacco ad ban for children on course for historic victory, poll finds

The latest polling from Tamedia and 20 minuten has indicated a historic victory may be on the cards for the popular initiative to ban tobacco advertising where children are present. Other referendums have struggled to garner popular support, with the government’s media funding initiative on a knife-edge.

Majority support for Swiss tobacco ad ban

The third and final poll done by the Tamedia Group has shown a clear lead for supporters of the ban on tobacco advertising where children are present. Although support for the initiative has fallen in recent weeks, 55 percent of those surveyed said they would support the move.

If the ban is passed by Swiss citizens in the vote on February 13, it will become the 25th successful referendum since 1896 that was submitted by the general public. Typically, popular initiatives that do not have the support of the Swiss government do not succeed at referendum. If the initiative does pass, it will become the first public submission to be adopted since the vote to ban full-face coverings in March 2021.

Support for changing the stamp tax falters

While support for the tobacco ad ban remains strong, many of the government’s own initiatives are failing to sway voters. Support for the abolition of the stamp tax - a business tax levied on companies when raising capital - has increased by 5 percent, but still lags behind at only 35 percent support.

Polling agency LeeWas gave the vote a 25 percent chance of being approved. The opponents of the referendum have campaigned on the idea that the change to capital gains would see the burden of taxation and pensions placed solely on workers in the long term, and according to polls, this strategy is working.

Media funding initiative in Switzerland on a knife-edge

The Swiss government has also grounds for concern in regard to its media funding initiative - the idea that regional print media should receive direct state funding so that they can continue to report local and regional news. Here, unlike other referendums, pollsters say that there is no clear trend on what the result will be.

Support for the referendum is hovering around 36 percent, with those who clearly reject the idea polling at 51 percent. While supporters have been building momentum, pollster Lucas Leemann advised them that they “don't need to chill the champagne." Overall, he gave the referendum a 36 percent chance of succeeding.

Ban on animal testing fails to garner popular support

Finally, the polling suggests that there is little support for the idea of banning all animal testing in Switzerland, along with banning the import of goods that have used animal testing in their production. Those against the referendum have swelled in number over the last few weeks, going from 61 to 80 percent against.

Only 14 percent of those surveyed said they would definitely vote yes. The vote was categorically rejected by the government, who worried that it would severely impact international companies in places like Basel, which use limited testing as part of Switzerland’s thriving pharmaceutical industry.

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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