After seven years of planning and intense work of the Ministry of Health, the National Assembly of Benin has unanimously adopted, on 14 September 2017, a new tobacco control law that will regulate production, processing, packaging, sale and use of all tobacco products and its derivatives.
The new law provides for measures to protect citizens from exposure to tobacco smoke, as per Article 8 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), and prohibits smoking in enclosed public places, but also in some open areas. Tobacco use is also prohibited within a range of 500 meters from any school, health institutions, sports facility, cultural and administrative infrastructures.
The new law also addresses the packaging and labelling issues and requires pictorial health warnings on all tobacco products as recommended in Article 11 of WHO FCTC. Other measures requires in the law include the limiting of interactions between representatives of the tobacco industry and public officials and a ban of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
The new law also reflects upon the recommendations of the needs assessment exercise jointly undertaken by the Government of Benin, the Convention Secretariat and other partner agencies in November 2015. The needs assessment report is available at: http://www.who.int/fctc/implementation/needs/NA_BENIN_French.pdf?ua=1.
More information: Dr Segnon-Agueh Judith Aurélienne, tobacco control focal point in the Ministry of Health of Benin. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.