Last updated: October 4, 2019
The Democratic Republic of the Congo became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on January 26, 2006.
Smoke Free Places
Smoking is prohibited in enclosed places in which services are provided to the public, thereby encompassing many workplaces and enclosed public places. The law also prohibits smoking in places where children and the elderly are taken in and cared for, healthcare establishments, educational facilities, and cultural and athletic facilities. However, smoking is allowed in designated areas of bars and restaurants.
Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
There is no comprehensive ban on advertising and promotion, but advertising via television, radio, billboards, and other print media is prohibited. Point of sale advertising, however, is allowed. There are some restrictions on tobacco sponsorship, including activities aimed at minors and athletic events, but publicity of allowed sponsorship is permitted.
Tobacco Packaging and Labeling
All packs of cigarettes and cigars must display two of four text-only health warnings on 30 percent of the front and back of packaging. Graphic health warnings will be required to cover 50 percent of the front and back of packaging once Law No. 18/035 is fully implemented. The law does not require health warnings on smokeless tobacco products. Misleading terms such as “light” and “low” are prohibited on tobacco packaging, but other misleading packaging (e.g., colors, numbers, and symbols) are not prohibited.
Cigarette Contents and Disclosures
The law grants the authority to regulate the contents of cigarettes; however, no subsequent regulations have been issued. The law requires that manufacturers and importers disclose to government authorities information on the contents and emissions of their products.
The law does not restrict the sale of tobacco products via vending machines or the internet. There are no restrictions on the sale of single cigarettes or small packets of cigarettes. The sale of tobacco products is prohibited to persons under the age of 18.
Roadmap to Tobacco Control Legislation
Departmental Administrative Order 04/DIP/005/90 setting the criteria for the assessment of advertising for tobacco and alcoholic beverages 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 was amended by Ministerial Administrative Order No. 008/CAB/MIN.INFO.PRES&COM.NAT/2007 of July 9, 2007; Administrative Order No. 1250/CAB/MIN/SP/O20/AQ/2007 of July 19, 2007 and Administrative Order No. 1250/CAB/MIN/SP/O20/JT of December 28, 2007, all of which altered smoke free; packaging and labeling; and tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship measures.
This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our legal staff in consultation with in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts.