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. The law was published in the national Gazette on …
Provisions of “Tobacco Control Act 2018 – No 345” 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 fixing of the legal age for purchasing tobacco at 21 and the restriction of 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, workplaces and public transport is also required in the law.
Provisions related to article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC are also featured in the law, including the a ban of any cooperation between Government agencies and tobacco companies, the discontinuation of any existing partnerships and the termination of any concessions given to 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 publication of the law in the national Gazette. 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 publication of the new legislation.
More information about the new law could be requested from Leroy Tatui of the Ministry of Health at Leroy.Tatui@mail.gov.nu.
The full text of the legislation can be found here.