Parliament rejects initiative for general ban on tobacco advertising

Parliament does not think much of a total ban on tobacco advertising to protect children and young people. After the National Council, the Council of States also rejected the corresponding popular initiative on Monday.

The Council of States recommends the rejection of the tobacco advertising ban initiative by 27 votes to 12 with one abstention. The majority is of the opinion that a good compromise is within sight with the revision of the Tobacco Products Act and that the most important concerns of the initiators have been taken on board. The law is currently undergoing a procedure for the revision of differences between the chambers of parliament.

According to Health Minister Alain Berset, this proposal is also the reason why the Federal Council recommends rejecting the initiative without a counterproposal. The initiative also goes very far.

Crucial advertising location not prohibited

In the Council, only Hans Stöckli (SP/BE) took the floor, but all the more vehemently in favor of the initiative. As the former mayor of Biel, he was not enthusiastic about the idea that advertising for products that could be legally consumed should be banned. Then, when he got into the health business, he said, he saw how harmful tobacco use was. "It is the only consumption of stimulants, which has risk factors in all areas of the human body," Stöckli said.

Young people must be prevented from smoking. The initiative must come before the people because the planned revision of the Tobacco Products Act does not include all the crucial points. Exactly where advertising has an effect on young people, there is no ban: on the Internet. At the same time, more than 80 percent of the tobacco industry's advertising today goes via the Internet and social media.

His vote failed to convince the Council majority. The National Council also recommended rejection of the initiative - already in the spring session. The matter will now go to the final vote.

Complete ban demanded

The 2019 referendum petition "Yes to protecting children and adolescents from tobacco advertising (children and adolescents without tobacco advertising)" submitted by several health organizations calls for a complete ban on tobacco advertising that reaches children or adolescents.

In effect, this would ban cigarette advertising on billboards in public spaces. But cinema advertising, advertisements, festival sponsorship and online advertising for tobacco would also no longer be permitted in the future. (SDA)

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