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National Coordinating Council on Tobacco Control approves action plan for 2017

11:14 | 17.02.2017 Category: Official

Chisinau, 17 February /MOLDPRES/- Progress achieved in implementing the law on tobacco control was discussed on 16 February 2017 at a meeting of the National Coordinating Council for Tobacco Control, the government’s communication and protocol department has reported.

Deputy Prime Minister, council’s head Gheorghe Brega said that there was a tough resistance from producers and traders of tobacco products. “We must not give up. We will manage only through political will and supported by civil society”, he said.

Representatives of the Health Ministry, Interior Ministry and Education Ministry unveiled reports on implementation of the law No 278/2007 on tobacco control.

In the context, Brega asked the Health Ministry to complete the process of amending Health Regulations on tobacco and related products in compliance with the Directive 2014/40/EU. Also, he asked the Interior Ministry to boost control over observance of the provisions on smoking in public places and restrictions on sale of cigarettes to minors.

The dialogue was focused on tax policies of tobacco products. As recommended by the World Health Organisation on tobacco taxation, to achieve the minimum rate of excise duty from EU, which is currently 90 euros for 1,000 cigarettes, Moldova should set annually rate increase in specific excise duties by 20 per cent and ad valorem excise rate by 1 percentage point in 2017-2025. In this regard, the Finance Ministry assured it would propose to increase excise duties on tobacco and related products, including the new ones (electronic cigarettes, hookah).

The Chisinau city hall reported that in the first half of 2016, the general directorate on trade, public alimentation and service had granted the right to sell by retail tobacco products for 145 commercial units, and 7 applicants had been refused. However, in the case of cigarette booths, which have been granted the right to sell by retail tobacco until the entry into force of the law on tobacco control, deadline was set for marketing tobacco – 1 January 2019. In the context, there were discussed issues that arose with the recent legislation replacing the “authorization to operate” with the procedure of “notification”, which does not allow the city hall to conduct control at economic agents. In this context, Brega asked the Economics Ministry to consider the possibility to amend this provision.

Council’s secretary Ion Salaru informed that draft government decision on approval of the National Programme on Tobacco Control for 2017-2021 had been approved by the competent ministries and institutions, and was now submitted for consideration to the State Chancellery. At the end of the meeting, the council members approved an action plan in tobacco control for 2017.