Colombia became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on July 9, 2008.
Smoke Free Places
Smoking is prohibited on public transportation, in enclosed public places, and in enclosed workplaces, without exception. The ban includes a residence that is a place of work for others.
Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
Tobacco advertising is prohibited in all forms of media. The law also prohibits all “tobacco promotion.” Although the law does not define “promotion,” a Constitutional Court case (C-830-10) found the term to have the meaning of “tobacco advertising and promotion” as set forth in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. There are some restrictions on tobacco sponsorship and the publicity of such sponsorship.
Tobacco Packaging and Labeling
A warning text and accompanying image must appear on the two principal display areas (front and back) of tobacco product packages, and occupy 30 percent of each display area. Each of the six prescribed warnings must appear on an equal number of packages of each brand each year. The Ministry of Welfare is required to update the warnings annually. Misleading terms such as “light” and “low tar” are prohibited on tobacco packaging, but other misleading packaging (e.g., colors, numbers, and symbols) is not prohibited.
Roadmap of Tobacco Control Legislation
Law No. 1335, “Provisions by which Damages Caused to Minors and the Non-Smoking Population are Prevented and Public Policies Are Stipulated to Prevent Tobacco Consumption and the Cessation of the Smoker’s Dependence on Tobacco and its Derivatives in the Colombian People” is the principal law on tobacco control in Colombia. It regulates, among other things, smoking in public places; tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and tobacco packaging and labeling. Ministry of Welfare Decision Number 003961 of 2009 implements the tobacco product packaging and labeling provisions of Law No. 1335 and requires the Ministry to issue new warnings annually. Resolution 3961 of 2009 – Pictogram Health Warnings 2011 – 2012 provides the current warnings, in effect from July 2011 to July 2012; and Resolution 3961 of 2009 – Pictogram Health Warnings 2012 – 2013 provides the warnings that must be carried on tobacco products from July 2012 to July 2013.
This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our legal staff in consultation with in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts.