New Strengthened Anti-Tobacco Law Comes into Force today

The new anti-tobacco law aimed at strengthening legislation in this sector will come into force on 1 August 2017 in Luxembourg.

The Act of 13 June 2017 will enter into force tomorrow on 1 August. The law strengthens the anti-tobacco legislation in place since 2006 and also aims to transpose into national law the provisions of the EU Directive 2014/40/EU. However, in order to further protect the health of non-smokers, especially children, and to prevent young people from smoking in the first place, the new anti-smoking law provides for additional measures beyond the provisions of Directive 2014/14/EU.

Currently, 70% of smokers begin to smoke before the age of eighteen and 94% before the age of twenty-five. It should also be noted that the highest percentage of smokers is found in the 18-24 age group with 26%. This group saw a 3% increase from 2015 to 2016.

The principal national provisions regarding reinforced anti-tobacco legislation include a ban on smoking on playgrounds, thus extending the ban on smoking in public spaces. This measure aims to limit the exposure of children to smoking as well as to reduce the number of children who will start to smoke later. Similarly, the law extends to the prohibition of smoking in private vehicles when children under 12 are on board, aiming to reduce the harmfulness of passive smoking.

National provisions also include the prohibition of vaping in the same places where the smoking ban applies in order to protect the health of citizens and consumers from the potential risks of electronic cigarettes. Similarly, it is illegal to sell tobacco products and electronic cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18.

In Luxembourg, about 1,000 deaths a year are due to tobacco-related diseases, 80 of which are a result of passive smoking. The newly introduced strengthened legislation aims to tackle this issue.