Last updated: February 11, 2024
Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on December 5, 2006.
Smoke Free Places
Indoor public places, indoor workplaces, and public transportation are smoke free. Although the law specifies some places where designated smoking areas are required, implementing legislation clarifies that designated smoking areas must be outdoors and at least 10 meters away from the building. Smoking is prohibited in outdoor areas of educational and healthcare facilities; sports stadiums; parks; places where inflammable materials and substances are present; and other places with no-smoking signs and designated smoke-free places.
Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
There is a general ban on advertising and promotion; however, it is uncertain whether point of sale advertising and promotion is permitted. In addition, promotional practices such as reverse brand stretching may not be covered. All forms of tobacco sponsorship are prohibited.
Tobacco Packaging and Labeling
Text and picture warnings must occupy 75 percent of the front and back of cigarette packaging. Manufacturers must print the six authorized warnings in rotation, changing the warning at intervals of 50,000 packs. Although the law requires health warnings on smokeless tobacco products, the specifications such as size, rotation, and content are uncertain. Misleading packaging and labeling, including terms such as “mild,” “medium,” and “light,” is prohibited.
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 of their products.
The law prohibits the sale of tobacco products via the internet; vending machines; and in educational facilities; stadiums; healthcare institutions; cultural facilities; and other specified locations. The law prohibits the sale of single cigarettes and small packets of cigarettes. The sale of tobacco products is prohibited to persons under the age of 18.
Heated Tobacco Products
The sale and use of heated tobacco products (HTPs) are prohibited. The law bans tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship and these restrictions are interpreted to apply to tobacco inserts. The law does not specifically address advertising, promotion and sponsorship restrictions for devices.
Roadmap to Tobacco Control Legislation
The Law on Tobacco Control is the primary legislation on tobacco control and regulates, among other things, smoking in public places, packaging and labeling of tobacco products, and tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. The law was originally passed in 2009 and amended in 2021. In addition, the law prohibits the sale of heated tobacco products and e-cigarettes.
There are three current implementing decrees/agreements. Agreement No. 1067/MPH, issued by the Ministry of Public Health, implements the Law on Tobacco Control including regulations on packaging and labeling, no-smoking signs, designated smoking areas, and some advertising and promotion provisions. Decree No. 369 regulates tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. Penalties for violations are specified in Decree No. 52. Decree No. 155/G establishes the Tobacco Control Fund and regulates income sources, use of funds, and management bodies and responsibilities.
This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our legal staff. No in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts reviewed our analysis.