Implementation Of Tobacco Ad Ban Stumbles In Swiss Parliament


(MENAFN- Swissinfo) After a long and lively debate the Swiss House of Representatives has rejected the bill concerning new tobacco advertising regulations.

This content was published on February 29, 2024 - 15:18 3 minutes Keystone-SDA

The right-wing Swiss People's Party thought the advertising restrictions for the tobacco industry went too far, while left-wing members of the chamber thought they didn't go far enough. The bill now returns to the Senate.

In future, children and young people will no longer be allowed to see advertising for tobacco products. That is what voters and cantons wrote into the constitution in February 2022 with a popular initiative.

+ Swiss back further restrictions on tobacco advertising

The government wants to implement the initiative with a comprehensive ban on advertising, for tobacco products and also for e-cigarettes. The Senate weakened the bill last autumn. On Thursday it was the House of Representatives' turn. It also provided for several exceptions to the ban on tobacco advertising.

In the end, it rejected the bill in the overall vote by 121 votes to 64 with five abstentions. The People's Party, the left-wing Social Democratic Party and the Greens were almost unanimous in voting no. The reasons for this varied.

'Massive disregard for the will of the people'

The People's Party parliamentary group argued that the government had gone beyond the text of the popular initiative in its draft. The present law was neither sensible nor feasible in practice, it said.

The left wing of the chamber, on the other hand, tried in vain with several motions to achieve a stricter implementation of the initiative and thus a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising. Speakers for the Social Democrats and the Greens criticised parliament's decisions to date as a“massive disregard for the will of the people”. They therefore rejected the overall result.

The bill will now go back to the Senate. If it also rejects the bill or the House of Representatives rejects it a second time, the matter will be closed. Parliament would then have to start from square one on the implementation of the new constitutional article.

Translated from German by DeepL/ts

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