Swiss Federal Council Votes in Support of Tobacco Advertising Ban

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Swiss Federal Council Votes in Support of Tobacco Advertising Ban
Swiss Federal Council votes in favor of banning tobacco advertising in print media starting 2026.

According to a report by swissinfo on September 26, the Swiss Federal Council has voted in favor of a ban on tobacco advertising in print media. Starting in 2026, advertisements for tobacco or e-cigarettes will no longer be allowed to appear in printed media.


But Senator Damian Müller stated that the right-wing party in the federal chamber hopes to narrow the scope of certain provisions, particularly those concerning newspaper advertisements, deeming them too extreme. In his view, it is acceptable to publish tobacco advertisements in publications subscribed to by adults. However, the centrist party appears to lean towards strictly enforcing the motion to prevent tobacco advertisements from reaching minors.


Without a doubt, children can read the newspapers that their parents subscribe to," argued Marianne Maret, a member of the Centrist Party, who held a differing opinion, stating that the targeted advertisements are aimed at future consumers.


Every year, approximately 10,000 people in Switzerland die from smoking. According to government plans, as of 2026, tobacco or e-cigarette advertisements will not be allowed in print media. However, publications targeting overseas markets or professionals will be exempted.


Swiss Federal Minister of Health, Alain Berset, has refuted claims that Switzerland is the only European country yet to ban tobacco advertising in newspapers. Despite pressure from right-wing political parties in parliament, Switzerland intends to maintain the current status quo, which is inconsistent with the new legislative guidelines approved by voters.


As for the other parts of the revised draft, right-wing parties have indeed managed to narrow down the scope of certain provisions. Places where minors can enter should all prohibit tobacco advertisements, but if effective preventive measures are put in place to keep minors from being exposed to such advertisements, they can be allowed to continue. Lawmakers believe that the same principles should apply to event sponsors as well.


In the end, the Federal Senate passed the amendment with 37 votes in favor and 3 votes against. Currently, the amendment has been transferred to the National House.


As early as 2021, parliament has supported another ban on tobacco advertising in public spaces. By mid-2024, tobacco advertising will be prohibited in posters and film ads (the ban has already been enforced in some states), public buildings, stadiums, sports events, and international sponsorships.


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