The will of the people to limit tobacco advertising must be respected

Bern, Feb. 19, 2024 - In February 2022, the people clearly expressed their desire to fully protect children and adolescents from tobacco advertising. The Federal Council submitted to Parliament a proposal to implement this will of the people. However, the Council of States and the National Council's Committee on Social Security and Health (CSSS-N) do not intend to accept the proposed changes because they do not respect the will expressed by the people. Now the National Council has the opportunity to take action.

The Federal Commission on Addiction and Noncommunicable Disease Prevention (CFDNT) urges the National Council to take corrective measures during the upcoming parliamentary session. If the National Council follows its CSSS proposals, some provisions on tobacco advertising and sponsorship will be less stringent than those currently in place. The National Council can work now to ensure that the will of the people is respected and that protective measures for children and adolescents are implemented in accordance with the Constitution.

Promoting health requires legislation to implement the initiative "Yes to the Protection of Children and Adolescents from Tobacco Advertising," which was clearly approved by the people, in accordance with the Constitution. Most smokers start smoking before the age of 18, and adolescents are particularly susceptible to the influence of advertising. Limiting tobacco advertising is therefore an effective way to reduce tobacco use in this age group. It is important now to consistently implement the people's initiative to better protect children and adolescents, including media advertising, event sponsorship, and promotion of tobacco and other nicotine-containing products. It is crucial to protect young people as they move toward the adult world.

The CFDNT has written to all members of the National Council asking them to respect the will of the people in the partial revision of the Tobacco Products Act and ensure credible and effective protection for children and adolescents from tobacco advertising.