Ukraine Prohibits Cigarette Advertising

March 23rd, 2012 00:00

On March 13 Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych passed the national ban on all forms of advertising and sponsorship by the tobacco companies.

The law that will come into force in six months bans any advertising of tobacco products at the point-of-sale as for instance kiosks, where the majority of smokers purchase their cigarettes. Also cigarette manufacturers will be prohibited from employing people to distribute in the street cigarettes as promotions. Moreover it would ban any nightclub parties sponsored by tobacco companies; as such activities attract young people. The given law also prohibits any advertising on cigarette packages.

The given measures support previous bans on tobacco advertising on TV, radio and printed materials.

“This is s great achievement for public health. The examples from other countries demonstrate that a complete advertisement ban will lead to a decrease in smoking, not as quick as with tax increases. The advertising ban will have greater effect not on present smokers but on those who plan to start smoking. All ads are created to attract new customers,” stated Konstantin Krasovsky, Ukraine’s public health activists.

Krasovsky, who stood in favor of such an ad for more than 15 years, stated the political views of public health have changed positively in Ukraine.

Prohibits Cigarette Advertising

While the tobacco industry in Ukraine is quite strong, Krasovsky added that more people start to understand the dangerous effects of smoking.

Krasovsky added that the tobacco ban was supported not only by political parties, but also several influential members of Yanukovych’s administration.

In contrast to other laws in Ukraine that usually get passed but remain unenforced, Krasovsky hopes that the given advertising ban will demonstrate better results than those laws that demand restaurants and bars to create special non-smoking areas.

“It is easier to enforce advertising, as we have about 100,000 restaurants and only 100 advertising agencies. We also hope that the tobacco industry will find gaps, but we will try to close these one as much as we can,” Krasovsky said.

According to estimates people in Ukraine are smoking less and also drink less alcohol. While about 11 million Ukrainians or about 27% of the population still light up, that is 4 million fewer than in 2005.

Better results can be made, Krasovsky stated, if parliament passes legislation that introduces a 100% ban on smoking in public places, including bars and cafes. He also added that government has to increase taxes in order to raise profits because it is the best way to drop smoking rate.

Ukrainian tobacco products are considered the less expensive in the world. Therefore, the cigarette industry produced more tobacco products that are consumed in the nation.

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