Kazakhstan Fends off Tobacco… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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Kazakhstan Fends off Tobacco Industry’s Interference and Strengthens Its Tobacco Control Laws

Statement of Joshua Abrams, Director of Eurasia
July 09, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed into law comprehensive tobacco control measures, which will protect all Kazakhstanis against the devastating health and economic consequences of tobacco consumption.

The Health Act includes several stringent tobacco control provisions:

  • mandates all products containing nicotine (including e-cigs and heated tobacco products) must be regulated as tobacco products; 
  • prohibits any point-of-sale displays; 
  • expands the list of smoke-free places (outdoor playgrounds, underground walkways, transit areas, cars with children), prohibits new products in smoke-free places, and increases fines for violators; 
  • increases pictorial warning labels from 50 to 65 percent of the display areas; 
  • raises the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21; 
  • mandates content disclosure of all products containing nicotine; 
  • bans smokeless tobacco products. 

The tobacco industry fought hard against these provisions by lobbying the government and parliament members, spreading misinformation, and introducing amendments that would have weakened the law. However, Kazakh public health advocates worked to ensure that the parliament rejected the tobacco industry’s proposals and approved a robust public health bill, instead.  

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids commends Kazakhstan’s tobacco control community for their outstanding advocacy efforts and the parliament and government for standing up against the tobacco industry’s interference to guarantee their citizens a healthier future. We urge other countries in the region to follow the example of Kazakhstan and approve and implement the policies of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco-Control.