Samoa: strengthening the country’s tobacco control act

The Tobacco Control Amendment Act (No.4) was passed in Samoa on 31 January 2019. This new act brings amendments to the Tobacco Control Act of 2008 by introducing a few new elements that could strengthen implementation of the WHO FCTC.

The law establishes a National Tobacco Control Committee, with representatives from the health, finance, education, women, community and social development ministries, the Police Service, customs and civil society organizations, among others. This Committee will, among other tasks, develop a multi-sectoral workplan to assist the implementation of the national tobacco control laws, the WHO FCTC and the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, Samoa being a Party to both treaties.

Furthermore, electronic nicotine and non-nicotine delivery systems have now been incorporated into the definition of tobacco products utilized in the law. The new law also bans the sale of tobacco products by persons under 15 years of age. Additionally, a licensing system has been established to regulate manufacturers, importers, distributors of tobacco products, as well as hotels and night clubs as retail units.

The amendment also bans promotional discounts and internet sales of tobacco products by manufacturers, distributors, importers or retailers. The Ministry of Health will now be able to conduct tests of tobacco products to check their contents and emissions at the expense of the manufacturer and/or importer, as mandated by Article 9 of the WHO FCTC.

Samoa is receiving support from the Convention Secretariat through the FCTC 2030 project to scale up its implementation of the Convention. The new legislation provides a good foundation for future work.

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