Announcement of the new Belgian Strategy for a Tobacco Free Generation


The European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (ENSP) congratulates Kingdom of Belgium on the Interfederal Strategy 2022-2028 for a Tobacco Free Generation [1] launched yesterday in order to reduce the prevalence of tobacco use in Belgium in the coming years. ENSP supports the Belgian vision to achieve a tobacco-free generation and endorses this set of measures covering second-hand smoke, indoor/outdoor spaces, plain packaging for all products, novel tobacco products, enforcement of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Article 5.3 regarding the tobacco industry interference, and others.

ENSP congratulates its members from the Belgian Alliance for a Smoke Free Society for the efforts deployed in the Strategy preparation and adoption process and believes that these measures will have immediate effects and will significantly improve the citizens’ health.

Summary of the strategy[2]:

  • Smoking ban in amusement parks, zoos, playgrounds, children’s grounds during activities, sports grounds, and places where youth movements are held. The smoking ban in bus shelters is discussed at the MobilityCIM and the smoking ban on the beaches is discussed with the coastal mayors. The possibility of implementing a smoking ban in other open public places, such as hospital entrances, school entrances, etc., is also planned.
  • Implementation of a total smoking ban on railway station platforms.
  • Ban (removal of the still existing) smoking rooms in closed places accessible to the public and accessible at the workplace.
  • Implementation of the standardized package for all tobacco and herbal smoking products (i.e. cigars, cigarillos, e-cigarettes).
  • Implementation of the ban on nicotine pouches (snus, sachets) and cannabinoid pouches. This point is important as it paves the way for BigTobacco’s strategy to target young people (current examples from Sweden and Denmark) and anticipates the revision of the EU Directive 40/2014.
  • Ban on disposable electronic cigarettes (puff bars in fluorescent and attractive colours). This point is very important because it aims to counter current marketing to young people.
  • A ban on tobacco vending machines in the hotel sector.
  • Better monitoring and follow-up of the number of smokers and vapers in the country.
  • Increase in controls and stricter sanctions for violation of the advertising ban.
  • Reducing the visibility of tobacco products through a display ban and a ban on the sale of tobacco products in temporary points of sale and in food stores larger than 400 m².
  • Regulation of new (nicotine-based) products that are placed on the market.
  • Clear guidelines for communication between ministries, government agencies, and the tobacco industry. Implementation of Article 5.3 of the FCTC.
  • Finally, an increase in excise duties on tobacco products and herbal smoking products and an adjustment of excise duties on roll-your-own tobacco and cigarettes.

About ENSP:

The European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (ENSP) is an international organisation based in Brussels, active for over 25 years in the field of tobacco control. With more than 75 full members, including national coalitions, present in 38 European Countries (23 EU and 15 non-EU), ENSP’s mission is to develop a strategy for co-ordinated action among organisations active in tobacco control in Europe by sharing information and experience and through co-ordinated activities and joint projects. ENSP aims to create greater coherence among smoking cessation activities, ensuring a continuous bridge between policymakers, researchers, and tobacco cessation specialists and promoting comprehensive tobacco control policies at both national and European levels.

ENSP objectives are to fully implement the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and to reduce the prevalence of tobacco use in the European region to less than 5% by 2040.

Media Contact:

Cornel Radu-Loghin

ENSP Secretary General

cornel.radu@ensp.org

http://ensp.org/


[1] Interfederal Belgian Strategy 2022-2028 for a Tobacco Free Generation available here: https://organesdeconcertation.sante.belgique.be/fr/documents/strategie-interfederale-2022-2028-pour-une-generation-sans-tabac

[2] https://www.cancer.be/nouvelles/lalliance-pour-une-societe-sans-tabac-repond-la-version-finale-de-la-strategie

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