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.
Cigarette Contents and Disclosures
The law does not grant the authority to regulate the contents of cigarettes. The law does not require that manufacturers and importers disclose to government authorities information on the contents and emissions of their products.
The law prohibits the sale of single cigarettes and small packets of cigarettes, and the law restricts the sale of tobacco products via vending machines. However, there are no restrictions on the sale of tobacco products based on location or via the internet. The sale of tobacco products is prohibited to persons under the age of 18.
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.
This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our legal staff in consultation with in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts.