Moldova became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on May 4, 2009.
Smoke Free Places
The law prohibits smoking in all enclosed and semi-enclosed public places and workplaces as well as all public places managed by healthcare facilities, educational institutions, and local public authorities. Designated smoking areas are permitted in semi-open places, which are defined as any place that is less than 50 percent enclosed. Smoking is prohibited on all means of public transportation, including taxis. With respect to outdoor places, the law prohibits smoking at amusement parks; children’s playground; and in outdoor areas managed by healthcare facilities, educational institutions, and central and local authorities. The law also prohibits smoking within 10 meters of an entrance to an enclosed public place, including windows or air intake units.
Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
There is a ban on nearly all direct and indirect forms of tobacco advertising and promotion. The display of tobacco products will not be prohibited at retailers until May 20, 2020. Sponsorship by the tobacco industry is also prohibited.
Tobacco Packaging and Labeling
Packaging of cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco, and waterpipe tobacco must bear a pictorial health warning covering 65 percent of the front and back of each pack. The 14 available warnings are displayed in sets of seven which rotate annually. In addition, two of the lateral sides must contain a general text warning taking up 30 percent of each lateral side. For other smoked tobacco products, a general warning must be printed on 30 percent of the most visible surface, while the text warning must be printed covering 40 percent of the next most visible surface. Misleading packaging and labeling, which includes terms such as “light” and “medium” and other signs, is prohibited.
The law regulates specified contents of cigarettes, including banning characterizing flavors; and ingredients that facilitate nicotine uptake, create the impression of health benefits, or are associated with energy and vitality; among others. Menthol as a characterizing flavor will be banned as of May 20, 2020. The law requires that manufacturers and importers disclose to government authorities and the public information on the contents and emissions of their products
The law prohibits the sale of tobacco products via vending machines, single cigarettes, small packets of cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco products. Commercial establishments that are less than 20 square meters must be located at least 200 meters from educational and healthcare facilities. The sale of tobacco products is prohibited to persons under the age of 18.
The retail sale of e-cigarettes is allowed. The use of e-cigarettes is prohibited where smoking is prohibited, which includes all indoor public places, workplaces, and public transport. Most forms of advertising, promotion and sponsorship of e-cigarettes are prohibited; however, e-cigarette displays are allowed until March 20, 2020. Health warnings are required on at least 30 percent of the two largest surfaces of e-cigarette product packaging. The nicotine content of e-cigarettes and refill containers must not exceed 2 mg per unit. The law bans specific ingredients, including but not limited to, vitamins and other ingredients that create the impression of health benefits, caffeine, additives having coloring properties, and additives that contribute to toxicity.
Roadmap to Tobacco Control Legislation
Law No. 278-XVI of December 14, 2007 on tobacco and tobacco articles is the primary law on tobacco control and covers many aspects of tobacco control, including but not limited to: restrictions on smoking in public places, production and sale of tobacco products, and tobacco packaging and labeling measures. The law was amended several times, and most recently amended on May 29, 2015 by comprehensive tobacco control measures. Additionally, the Law No. 1227-XIII of June 27, 1999 on advertising (as amended) duplicates many of the advertising restrictions. The Criminal Code of the Republic of Moldova No. 218-XVI contains the penalties for violations of the tobacco control laws.
This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our legal staff in consultation with in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts.