Stricter tobacco legislation enters into force
Ljubljana, 11 March - The changes to the act on the use of tobacco and related products bringing stricter regulation of their use and advertising entered into force on Saturday. The new legislation most notably brings graphic warnings on uniform non-branded cigarette packages.
The changes moreover ban the advertising of tobacco and related products as well as the sale of tobacco products with characterising flavours.
Also being introduced is five-year licensing of tobacco vendors and stricter regulations for the promotion of tobacco products and for various non-standard tobacco and smoking products.
Also banned is the sale of confectioneries, snacks, toys and other items intended for minors in the shape of tobacco products.
The government-sponsored changes are meant to transpose the new EU tobacco directive, while also introducing other measures that have proven effective.
According to the Health Ministry, the stricter anti-tobacco legislation is also an important step towards a sustainable health budget, as the European Commission's data showed Slovenia loses 5% of GDP or EUR 1.8bn to smoking every year.
This is the first overhaul of tobacco legislation since major limits on sales, advertising and smoking in public were imposed in 2007.
Approximately one in four Slovenians smoke. Data from 2016 puts the share of 15-year-olds who have tried smoking at 40%, with as many as 9% smoking daily.