Article 71 of the Constitution of the Republic of Cape Verde recognizes the right to health protection, granting the authorities the organization and protection of public health. Bearing in mind that Cape Verde has ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), it has to adopt measures to reduce tobacco consumption, protecting public health.
Thus, on May 16, 2022, Law nº 8/X/2022 was published, to enter into force on October 23, 2022, which defines the legal regime for the prevention and control of smoking.
This law provides for restrictions on tobacco use in Cape Verde, with stricter policies focused on the well-being and health of smokers and passive smokers.
What are the prohibitions of this new law?
This law prohibits the sale, supply, display for sale of tobacco products in bakeries and pastry shops, street stalls, fairs and events, pharmacies, health and education establishments, sports venues including establishments that sell products over the internet, post offices , among other places.
Taking into account the increase in tobacco consumption among minors, this law prohibits the supply, handling, sale or making available of these tobacco products to minors, and they may not sell, provide, handle these products to third parties. , thus limiting young people’s access to these products.
Furthermore, it was forbidden for people to smoke in health facilities, in places intended for children under the age of 18, in nursing homes, in nightlife establishments, professional training centers, in stadiums, gyms, in commercial establishments selling public, in restaurants, bars, elevators and similar, in common spaces of condominiums, among others.
However, depending on the place, spaces reserved for smokers can be created, provided they are properly marked.
The law also determines the prohibition of smoking less than three meters away from accesses to public and private closed spaces, as well as around the perimeter of semi-enclosed public and private spaces.
Another legal requirement is not to smoke inside private vehicles when transporting children under eighteen years of age.
Moreover, the law prohibits in some cases the use of electronic devices, with or without nicotine, the use of water pipes and hookah, herbal products for smoking, as well as the use of new smokeless tobacco products that produce aerosols, vapours, gases or inhalable particle.
This law adopts a zero tolerance policy in relation to all forms of advertising, direct and indirect, hidden or disguised promotion of tobacco companies, being prohibited from displaying or advertising their brands, names, emblems, logos or any distinctive or identifying signs of tobacco products, prohibiting all forms of sponsorship or contributions to events by persons whose sole or main activity is tobacco-related.
It also requires that each individual package of tobacco products and each outer package must present health warnings as well as images that demonstrate the harmful effects of tobacco products on health, which cannot be covered or abbreviated.
Consequences in case of violation of this law
Anything that violates this law constitutes grounds for the application of precautionary measures, and may constitute an administrative offence, punishable by a fine.
That said, the rationale of this new legislation is to ensure more effective protection of public health by limiting smoking in places of collective use in order to protect those exposed to environmental smoke, including minors and the elderly.