The Big Ban in Bhutan

The Hon. Minister of Health of Bhutan launched on World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), 31 May 2020, the publication entitled “The Big Ban: Bhutan’s journey towards a tobacco-free society”.

This publication presents the long history of tobacco control in the country. It also reveals whole-of-society and whole-of-government approaches in their efforts which culminated in “The big ban”: the Royal Government of Bhutan banned the sale of tobacco and related products in the country in 2004, same year of ratification of the WHO FCTC.

The last section of this document is an attempt at revitalising a national commitment that calls for relevant sectors to come together in realising a national effort.

The publication is available through this link.


The National Assembly adopted  the Tobacco Control (Amendment) Bill 2021 and Tax Bill of Bhutan 2021 in order to lift the ban and enable the selling, buying, possession, distribution and transportation of tobacco and tobacco products in the country. The objective is to control the spread of COVID-19, under thread due to continous smuggling of tobacco products through the southern border.

See the related news piece.



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