On 24 December 2018, Niue’s Parliament adopted a first ever comprehensive tobacco control legislation aiming to “protect the health of the people of Niue from the diseases caused by tobacco use and tobacco smoke”, in compliance with the WHO FCTC.
Provisions of Tobacco Control Act 2018 include the prohibition of: commercial growing and manufacturing of tobacco within the jurisdiction; tobacco and tobacco product advertising, promotion and sponsorship, as well as corporate social responsibility activities from tobacco companies; tobacco display at points of sale; and unsupervised tobacco sales such as vending machines. Other measures to protect young people include the legal age for purchasing tobacco at 21 and the restriction on sale of smaller quantities such as packs fewer than 20 cigarettes or loose tobacco less than 30 grams.
A major step forward is the introduction of a licensing system for all involved in the import, export, as well as retail and distribution of tobacco products. Regulations on packaging and labelling of tobacco products encompass compulsory health messages, ingredient and additives disclosures, and prohibition of misleading terms such as “light”, “mild”, “low tar” or “slim”. A comprehensive ban on smoking in public places and workplaces, as well as public transport was clearly stated.
Finally, provisions related to article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC are also featured, including the proscription of any cooperation between Government agencies and tobacco companies, the discontinuation of any existing partnership and the cessation of any active support for the tobacco industry.
The new legislation will enter into force in two steps: measures related to tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, control on sales of tobacco products, protection from exposure of secondhand smoke and engagement with the tobacco industry are to come into force six months after the date at which the Act became law. The other measures, those related to the prohibition of commercial growing and manufacturing, licensing and tobacco products contents, emissions, testing and reporting will come into force 12 months after the adoption of the new legislation.
The full text of the legislation cane be found here.