Nepal became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on February 5, 2007.
Smoke Free Places
Smoking is prohibited on public transport and in a specified list of public places, which includes most workplaces and public places. However, the law allows managers of airports, prisons, and hotels to designate smoking areas. While generally the smoking area in a hotel must be outside, the regulations allow the smoking area to be inside if outside space is not available. With respect to outdoor areas, pilgrimage and religious places, stadiums, outdoor areas of industries and factories, and children’s parks and clubs also must be smoke free.
Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
The law generally prohibits all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
Tobacco Packaging and Labeling
Health warnings are composed of both pictures and text and cover 90 percent of the upper front, upper back, and two sides of smoked tobacco product packaging and the upper front, upper back, and lids (where appropriate) of smokeless tobacco product packaging. With respect to rotation, the law specifies that the Ministry may change the required warnings within a year. Misleading packaging and labeling, including terms such as “less tar” and “light” and other signs, is prohibited.
Cigarette Contents and Disclosures
The law does not grant the authority to regulate the contents of cigarettes. The law requires 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, small packs of cigarettes, and tobacco products by vending machine or via the internet. In addition, the law prohibits the sale of tobacco products in cultural facilities, recreational facilities, and within 100 meters of educational facilities, health facilities, among other places. The sale of tobacco products is prohibited to persons under the age of 18.
Roadmap to Tobacco Control Legislation
The Tobacco Product (Control and Regulation) Act, 2010 is the primary law governing tobacco control in Nepal and regulates, among other things, smoking in public places, workplaces and public transport; tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and tobacco packaging and labeling. One regulation and three directives have been issued under the Act to implement its provisions: 1) The Tobacco Products (Control and Regulation) Regulation – 2068 (2011); 2) the Directive for Printing and Labeling of Warning Message and Graphics in the Boxes, Packets, Wrappers, Cartons, Parcels and Packaging of Tobacco Products; (3) Tobacco Product Control and Regulatory Directive, 2014; and (4) Directive on Printing Warning Messages and Pictures on Tobacco Product Boxes, Packets, Cartons, Parcels and Packaging Materials, 2014. The last directive listed increased the size of the graphic health warnings from 75 percent to 90 percent of the front and back of all tobacco product packaging beginning in 2015. Reports indicate that implementation has not been comprehensive/widespread.
This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our legal staff in consultation with in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts.