Nepal Legislature-Parliament passes new tobacco control law
Nepal's Legislature-Parliament passed a tobacco control law on Monday, 11 April, which will take effect 90 days after the President endorses it. The bill was presented at the parliament by Deputy Prime Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara and includes provisions for graphic health warnings to cover 75% of cigarette packs and other tobacco products. The bill also set out a complete ban on tobacco advertisement, promotion and sponsorship.
The Tobacco Product Control and Regulatory Bill, 2010 also has provisions for 100% smokefree environments, which bans tobacco use in public places, workplaces and public transports. The new law also prohibits sale of cigarettes, bidi and chewing tobacco to children under 18 years of age. A health tax on tobacco products is also included the law.
Through the Bloomberg Initiative, The Union has been providing technical assistance, capacity building, policy briefings, information and guidelines to Nepal's Ministry of Health and Population, Ministry of Finance, National Planning Commission, policy- makers, NGOs such as the Health and Environmental Forum of Nepal (HEFON), Non-smokers Rights Association and Nepal Public Health Association. HEFON and other civil society organisations have been remarkable in mobilising and obtaining support from the members of parliament in passing the law.