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The Parliament of the Republic of Moldova approves new tobacco control law

In the context of World No Tobacco Day 2015, the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova voted today, 29 May 2015, to adopt a series of amendments to different laws directed to strengthen tobacco control. After lengthy debate in the Parliamentary Committee for Social Protection, Health and Family, led by Oxana Domenti, and strong opposition from the tobacco lobby and special interest groups, the new tobacco control law was approved.

For the past 2 years, the Republic of Moldova has made considerable progress in tobacco control, from elaborating and adopting a strong tobacco control law by the Government to securing Parliamentary approval today.

The new law closely follows implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and comprises a full ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces and the use of warning labels covering 65% of the front and back of cigarette packages. It also includes a full ban on the advertising and promotion of tobacco products, with the exception of philanthropy, which was replaced by regulations that prohibit advertisements using the trademark designation of tobacco products, the name of the tobacco industry entity and other strategies.

Each year in the Republic of Moldova, smoking causes 5600 deaths and a loss of more than 2000 workers from the national workforce. The Republic of Moldova has 690 000 adult smokers, and 90 000 of today’s youth population will take up smoking in the absence of strong tobacco control measures. Unless action is taken, up to half of all lifetime smokers – almost 390 000 Moldovans – will die early from diseases caused by smoking .

The new law will enforce implementation of these strong tobacco control strategies, lead to significant health improvements in the Moldovan population and provide the opportunity to save more than 40 000 lives each year.

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