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In September, the Council of States voted on the LPTab

Publié le : 2019-10-01 13:25:14
Catégories : News Rss feed

Introduction


We’ve talked about it in different articles, the new law on tobacco products (LPTab) is in the middle of a debate in Switzerland. Little by little, everything is falling into place and the Council of States has just voted on the subject.

Presentation


Let’s go through the facts again : The Federal Council sent a first bill to the Parliament in November 2015. The Council of States and the National Council decided in 2016 to send it back to the Federal Council for them to review it, mainly rejecting the ban on tobacco advertising. In December 2017, a consultation on the second project is opened. In early 2019, it’s sent to the Parliament.

On the 17th of September 2019, the Council of States voted. The deliberations were lengthy and ended on September 26.

Here are the key decisions :

  • Selling tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, will be prohibited to minors across Switzerland.
  • Advertising will be banned in newspapers, magazines and on internet. Advertising by price comparisons or promises of gifts will also be affected.
  • Advertising in cinemas, on everyday consumer goods and in stores, as well as direct promotion and direct mail for adults, will remain possible if it comes with a warning.
  • E-cigarettes will be subject to the same restrictions as cigarettes in terms of passive smoking, i.e. vaping will be prohibited where smoking is.
  • A motion instructing the Federal Council to create the legal basis for the imposition of e-cigarettes was also accepted, although the tax should be less burdensome than for traditional cigarettes, since our authorities have recognized that the risk with e-cigarettes is potentially lower.

These votes come as no surprise considering the position taken by the Council of States Commission, which we shared with you in a previous article.

What’s next ?

During a future session in 2020, the National Council will have to adjudicate on the second bill.

If their votes are in line with those of the Council of States, the Federal Council may implement the bill. If the two Councils do not agree, the bill will return to the Council of States before returning to the National Council once again. This back and forth can happen 3 times. If, at the end of these referrals, the two Councils do not agree, the bill will no go through.

Considering the consequences of the decisions taken to this date, we can only hope that the National Council will adopt a less restrictive position than the Council of States, particularly when it comes to passive smoking. As previously explained, a ban to vape in public places would put an end to any testing done in specialized shops, even though it’s essential for smokers to be advised and to test the equipment, the nicotine levels and e-liquids to successfully quit smoking. All we’d like is an exception allowing tests in shops, that would be enough… Is that really too much to ask for ?

We’ll never say it enough, e-cigarettes are now recognized for being a lot less harmful than traditional cigarettes, despite fake news flourishing in the press, and as being the most effective way to quit smoking !

Conclusion


The Council of States voted on the second bill concerning tobacco products including e-cigarettes. Unsurprisingly, a ban on selling to minors, restrictive advertising regulations and a ban on vaping in places where smoking is prohibited have been adopted. It’s now up to the National Council to adjudicate during a future session. If an agreement is reached, the Federal Council will move to implement the bill. To be continued !

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