Chile – comprehensive tobacco control legislation adopted

A new, comprehensive tobacco control act, amending Act No 19.419 of 1995 on smoke-free environments, was signed by the President on 8 February 2013 and entered into force on 1 March 2013.

The law is aimed at bringing Chile’s national tobacco legislation in line with the requirements of the WHO FCTC, to which Chile has been a Party since 2005.

The main provisions of the new act are as follows:

  • smoking is now prohibited in all enclosed spaces accessible to the public or for collective commercial use, including restaurants, pubs, bars and casinos, and the definition of “indoor public place” has been aligned with the one contained in the guidelines for implementation of Article 8 of the Convention;
  • all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship have been banned, including advertisements at the points of sale. The law also requires tobacco companies to report to the Ministry of Health on any donations;
  • the Ministry of Health is now mandated to prohibit, if appropriate, the use of additives and other substances added to tobacco during the manufacturing process with the aim of increasing its addictive properties, if such effects can be scientifically proved;
  • warnings covering 50% of the packages of all tobacco products (to be rotated) are now required;
  • tobacco prevention is to be included in educational curricula at all levels;
  • stronger measures for the monitoring and enforcement are provided for, including higher fines for non-compliance with required measures;
  • the requirements of the law have been extended to apply to all tobacco products, not just cigarettes, by providing a new definition of “tobacco products”.

More information is available from Javier Cruz B., Ministry of Health of Chile (jcruzb@minsal.cl).

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