Panama became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on February 27, 2005.
Smoke Free Places
Smoking is prohibited in all indoor public places, indoor workplaces, and public transport. In addition, smoking is prohibited in outdoor sports venues.
Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
The law bans all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
Tobacco Packaging and Labeling
Tobacco product packaging must display one of five text and pictorial warnings on 50 percent of the principal display areas, and a 10-point font warning on the lateral side of the package. Misleading packaging and labeling, which could include terms such as “light” and “low tar” and other signs, is 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 or emissions of their products.
The law prohibits the sale of single cigarettes and small packs of cigarettes. In addition, the law prohibits the sale of tobacco products by vending machines and in educational establishments, health establishments, and sporting facilities. However, there are no restrictions on the sale of tobacco products via the internet. The sale of tobacco products is prohibited to persons under the age of 18.
The retail sale of e-cigarettes is prohibited. The use of e-cigarettes is prohibited in places where smoking is prohibited.
Roadmap to Tobacco Control Legislation
Law No. 13 of January 24, 2008 is the principal law governing tobacco control in Panama. The law requires the executive body to issue regulations within three months of the law’s enactment. The Ministry of Health followed suit and issued Executive Order No. 230 to regulate Law No. 13. The Executive Order includes comprehensive regulations on topics such as restrictions on smoking in public places and packaging and labeling of tobacco products, and elaborates upon the ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship contained in Article 14 of Law No. 13. Executive Decree No. 611 amends Executive Order No. 230 with regards to point of sale product displays.
Pictorial health warnings to be displayed on tobacco packaging are regulated by successive resolutions – Resolution No. 809 of October 6, 2008; Resolution No. 868 of October 19, 2009 (as amended by Resolution No. 153 of March 5, 2010); Resolution No. 0968 of September 23, 2011; Resolution No. 378 of April 16, 2013 (as amended by Resolution No. 1265 of December 26, 2013); Resolution No. 1210 of August 11, 2014; Resolution No. 1661 of September 8, 2015; Resolution No. 2304 of October 28, 2016; Resolution No. 1335 of June 28, 2018; and Resolution No. 4167 of December 11, 2019 (as amended by Resolution No. 0315 of February 4, 2020).
This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our legal staff in consultation with in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts.