Belarus: new regulations on production, trade and consumption of tobacco products

On 24 January 2019, the President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko issued Decree No. 2 to amend two previous decrees in 2002 and 2007, regulating the production, trade and consumption of tobacco products. The decree was officially published on 26 January 2019 and the main provisions will come into force six months after the official publication.

According to the decree, electronic cigarettes are subject to legal regulations applicable to tobacco products in terms of production, trade and consumption. The decree also imposes restrictions on advertising, promotion and sales of electronic cigarettes. It is prohibited to open display liquids for electronic smoking system and to sell e-cigarettes to persons under the age of 18.

In addition, the decree defines a list of places where smoking is prohibited. These include elevators and subsidiary premises of residential buildings, playgrounds, workplaces, sports camps, educational institutions, underground passages, public transport stops and cars carrying children under the age of 14.

Over the past decade, Belarus has made considerable progress in meeting its obligations under the FCTC, such as the ban on tobacco advertising in 2008 and the ban on Internet sales of tobacco products in 2015. The new regulations are expected to further discourage tobacco consumption and reduce devastating health consequences. The introduction of the new measures is in line with the requirements of WHO FCTC Articles 8, 13 and 16 and the recommendations of the needs assessment mission that was conducted jointly by the Convention Secretariat and the Ministry of Health of Belarus. The needs assessment report is available here.

The decree can be found here (in Russian).


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