Last updated: June 1, 2020
Ecuador became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on October 23, 2006.
Smoke Free Places
Smoking is prohibited in indoor workplaces, public places and public transportation. There is one exemption to the smoking ban, which allows smoking in up to 10 percent of hotel guestrooms provided the rooms are designated as smoking rooms only and comply with regulations. Smoking is also prohibited in outdoor areas of health facilities and primary and secondary educational facilities. Sub-national jurisdictions may adopt regulations that are more stringent.
Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
Most forms of tobacco advertising and promotion are prohibited with a few exceptions. Tobacco advertising is permitted inside places that may be accessed by adults (18+ years) only and through direct communication by email or the postal services, provided the adult consumer requests to receive information in writing, and the consumer’s being of majority age is verified. Although sponsorship by the tobacco industry is only prohibited in part, all publicity of sponsorship is prohibited.
Tobacco Packaging and Labeling
Tobacco product packages must contain text and pictorial health warnings covering 60 percent of both the front and back of the pack. Other qualitative health information must occupy 70 percent of one side panel of tobacco product packages. Misleading packaging and labeling, including terms such as “light” and “low tar” and other signs, is 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 prohibits the sale of tobacco products via vending machines, and in educational facilities, playgrounds, stadiums, healthcare facilities, cultural facilities and other specified locations. The law also prohibits the sale of small packets of cigarettes. 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.
Roadmap to Tobacco Control Legislation
The Organic Law for the Regulation and Control of Tobacco is the primary law on tobacco control and governs prohibitions on smoking; tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and tobacco packaging and labeling. It repeals and replaces the Organic Law Amending the Organic Law of Consumer Protection, which previously governed many aspects of tobacco control. Regulation to the Tobacco Regulation and Control Act, No. 1047, was issued under the Organic Law for the Regulation and Control of Tobacco and implements provisions on smoke free environments and tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. The Organic Law for the Regulation and Control of Tobacco was effective upon its date of publication in the official gazette, July 23, 2011; however, provisions regulating tobacco product packaging and labeling came into effect in July 2012. Ministry of Public Health Decision No. 407 on Approved Health Warnings establishes the first round of six health warnings for packs and other tobacco product packaging. Several decisions have been issued establishing subsequent rounds of pictorial health warnings: Decision No. 2853 (second round), Decision No. 4723 (third round), Decision No. 5239 (fourth round), Decision No. 24 (fifth round), Decision No. 30-2017 (sixth round), and Decision No. 188-2018 (seventh round). The Ministry of Public Health has released a manual with each round specifying the contents of the health warnings and the health information on toxic constituents and emissions to assist with implementation.
This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our legal staff in consultation with in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts.