Photograph: Ms Lada Bulakh, MP, member of the Committee on Public Health, Medical Assistance and Medical Insurance, providing a new sign to a restaurant, stating the ban on using HTPs, e-cigarettes, cigarettes and hookahs. (Photo courtesy of Slava Ratunski, UNIAN)
The latest amendments to the law “Amending some laws of Ukraine regarding public health protection from the harmful effects of tobacco” dated 16 December 2021 include some that have entered into force recently, on 11 July 2022.
The provisions that have entered into force on 11 July are aimed at protecting the citizens from second-hand tobacco as well as from emissions and smoke of novel and emerging tobacco products and nicotine products. The new provisions ban the smoking of heated tobacco products and other herbal products for smoking inside the public places. Moreover, the provisions of the Law prohibit smoking rooms on premises of companies of all forms of ownership and empower local authorities to determine additional smoke-free places.
Since 2012, smoking of tobacco products, hookahs and e-cigarettes has been prohibited in workplaces, but smoking areas have been allowed. Starting from 11 July, 100% of workplaces in Ukraine are free of heated tobacco products and herbal products for smoking. Smoking on the workplaces is forbidden.
Moreover, the provisions of the Law prohibit smoking rooms on premises of companies of all forms of ownership and empower local authorities to go beyond the requirements of the national law and determine additional smoke-free places.
Both the offending smokers and the business entities where the offense is committed are responsible for the violation of the Law. The compliance with smoke-free legislation by individuals is controlled by the National Police. The compliance with the smoking ban by business entities is monitored by the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection.
According to the Law, on 1 June 1 2022, a 30% text health warning was introduced on both sides of packages of e-cigarettes and e-liquids for e-cigarettes, with and without nicotine.
The definition of “tobacco products” has also changed on 1 July 2022, in accordance with Law of Ukraine No. 1019-IX, and they now include heated tobacco products (such as “glo” or “IQOS”). Heated tobacco products have therefore become subject to all provisions of the current legislation.
It is to be noted that other requirements of the amendment of the law will enter into force in a sequential manner.
The advertising, sales promotion and sponsorship of electronic cigarettes, liquids used in them, and devices for consumption of tobacco products without burning them (including “IQOS” and “glo” devices) will be prohibited from 11 July 2023. Flavoured cigarettes and flavoured liquids for ENDS will also be banned at that date. Further, from 11 January 2024, the combined textual plus pictorial warnings will be required to cover 65% of both sides of the pack of smoking tobacco products (conventional cigarettes).
Up to 85000 Ukrainians die from smoking-related diseases each year. Smoking also causes significant damage to the country’s economy: experts estimate that the annual economic losses amount to 3.2% of Ukraine’s GDP, or about UAH 179 billion (as of 2021) due to early disability among smokers, social benefits and treatment of smoking-related diseases.
The Advocacy Center ‘LIFE’ team contributed to the development and advocacy of the Antitobacco Law #1978 and welcomes the improvement of anti-tobacco legislation, which hasn’t been changed since 2012. Law #1978 will protect children from nicotine addiction, and will save the lives and health of Ukrainians for many years.
For more information, please, contact Ms Olga Alimenko, State Expert on International Cooperation, Ministry of Health (firstname.lastname@example.org).