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Nepal: Bill on Tobacco Control Adopted by Legislature

(May 9, 2011) The Constituent Assembly of Nepal, the country's legislature, approved the Tobacco Product Control and Regulatory Bill, 2010 on April 11, 2011. The new law will take effect 90 days after its endorsement by the President of Nepal. (Nepal Legislature-Parliament Passes New Tobacco Control Law, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease website (last visited May 5, 2011).)

The law stipulates “a complete ban on smoking in public places, workplaces, and public transportation.” (NEPAL – New Tobacco Control Bill Approved, WHO website (Apr. 2011).) The sale of individual cigarettes and the sale of tobacco products by unlicensed vendors are also prohibited. Under the new law, tobacco sales to minors (persons under 18 years of age) and to pregnant women are deemed offenses. (Id.)

The law further stipulates that tobacco companies must cover 75% of the packaging space for cigarettes and other tobacco products with pictorial health warnings. It provides for a health tax on tobacco products; “a total ban on tobacco advertisements, promotion and sponsorship in any form”; and the establishment of a tobacco control committee chaired by the health secretary and comprising the relevant stakeholders. The law also calls for punishments and penalties to be imposed for violation of its provisions. (Id.; see also Government of Nepal, Ministry of Health And Population, Brief Profile on Tobacco Control in Nepal, WHO Regional Office for Southeast Asia website (last visited May 5, 2011).)

Nepal is one of the 172 parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which it signed on December 3, 2003, and ratified on November 7, 2006. (Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (last updated Jan. 20, 2011); WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (rpt. 2004, 2005), WHO website.)