The Ministry of Health is strengthening measures against smoking in order to reduce the number of consumers.
The new draft law / Electronic cigarettes and heating tobacco are considered tobacco products. 6-fold fines and activity suspension for entities that violate the law repeatedly are foreseen.
“The innovative tobacco products that have recently entered the Albanian market and have been completely unregulated, such as electronic cigarettes and heat-not burn tobacco, will be considered tobacco products and will be treated as such. We are determined to discourage smoking in any form.
“In the framework of World No Tobacco Day, the Minister of Health and Social Protection, Ogerta Manastirliu, declared that the amendments proposed by the Ministry of Health to the Law on Health Protection from Tobacco Products will soon be approved by the Parliament, for strengthening anti-smoking measures in closed environments.
“By means of these legal changes we further strengthen the anti-smoking measures, not allowing anyone to abuse the law, going as far as to shut down the activity and withdrawing licenses for those subjects that have been fined repeatedly, “said Manastirliu.
More specifically, if a subject violates the law prohibiting indoor smoking two times in a row, within two months, the fine will be twice as much as the first fine. If the same offense is repeated within a 1 year period, the subject will be fined 6-fold and its activity suspended.
“In the spirit of the EU Directive as well as the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, with the expected legal changes, smoking in closed environments including heating tobacco products, electronic cigarettes, and hookah will also be prohibited. Furthermore, packs with 10 cigarettes and flavored cigarettes will be removed from the market. By means of these measures we intend to protect young people and adolescents from these products that have a high degree of dependency, “said the Minister.
Stressing that the Council of Europe’s recent Progress Report has praised the implementation of the anti-tobacco law in Albania, Manastirliu stated that the legal changes being undertaken are entirely in function and best interest of the health of the population, given that smoking is one of the main causes of cardiovascular and tumor related diseases.
May 31st is the World No Tobacco Day, and this year’s slogan is “Tobacco and Lung Health”, triggered by the fact that 2/3 of cases of lung cancer are caused by smoking.
The latest Demographic and Health Study in Albania shows a tendency of decline of the number of tobacco consumers in the country. Smoking has dropped from 43% to 35% in males aged 15-years old, in the last 10 years, while it remains low in females. Albania ranks 7 spots ahead, according to the Bloomberg report on improving health indicators, where one of the indicators of the calculations is the level of smoking.
Nevertheless, our country continues to have high consumption of tobacco, as 2 in 5 men over the age of 15 and 1 in 17 women over the age of 15 are smokers.
Over the last year, the structures of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, such as the State Health Inspectorate, have intensified the inspection and control of smoking in close environments and premises, where, in addition to routine controls, the Task Force for the prohibition of smoking has been activated. Only during the first five months of 2019, 265 subjects were fined, out of 136 punished for violating the law during 2018. Tiranapost.al.D.Xh