Rwanda – Comprehensive tobacco control legislation adopted

A comprehensive new Act (Nº 08/2013) was signed by the President on 1 March 2013 and entered into force on 8 April 2013. The law is aimed at preventing tobacco use, informing and educating the public about the consequences of tobacco use, preventing exposure to tobacco smoke, eliminating illicit trade in tobacco products, and motivating smokers to quit.

The main provisions of the new law are as follows:

- a permit is required to grow, manufacture, import and export tobacco and tobacco products;

- sales of tobacco products in premises such as health facilities, pharmacies, any public place meant for children, sports and leisure grounds as well as to and by minors, are forbidden;

- smoking in any enclosed or open space accessible to the public or at the workplace, including cinemas and theatres, restaurants, hotels, pubs, bars, public transport and indoor public transport terminals, is prohibited;

- all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, including free distribution of tobacco products, are banned;

- the Minister of Health is required to develop the content and the design of the warnings to be placed on tobacco product packaging and to eliminate misleading descriptors from such packaging;

- administrative sanctions and penalties for non-compliance with the required measures are provided for.

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