The Croatian government on Thursday forwarded to parliament a bill restricting the use of tobacco and related products, over whose delay Croatia had faced the risk of EU sanctions. Among other things, the bill puts e-cigarettes on a par with other tobacco products and bans their use in places where smoking is prohibited.
Presenting the bill, Health Minister Milan Kujundzic said that it aligned domestic legislation with EU law.
The bill bans the sale of tobacco products with specific flavours, introduces a new way of labeling tobacco products characterised by combined health warnings, that is, pictures with text messages and information on the harmfulness of tobacco products.
The bill also introduces an obligation to provide information on ingredients of tobacco products and e-cigarettes in standardised electronic form.
One of the more important changes in the bill is the equal treatment of e-cigarettes and containers with nicotine and other tobacco products. The bill also proposes banning smoking and consumption of all types of e-cigarettes in areas where smoking is prohibited and it introduces a ban on the advertising of e-cigarettes and endorsement of tobacco products, as well as a ban on making such products visible at points of sale.
More than 9,000 people die from smoking-related diseases in Croatia every year.
A survey by the Ivo Pilar Institute shows that around 38% of Croatian men and 33% of women aged 15-64 smoke. More than HRK 1.5 billion is set aside every year from the health budget for the treatment of smoking-related diseases.