Last updated: January 1, 2020
Qatar became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on February 27, 2005.
Smoke Free Places
The law prohibits smoking in indoor public places “set forth by a decision of the Minister.” However, an implementing decree has not yet been issued specifying the places where smoking is prohibited. Therefore, there are currently no restrictions on smoking in indoor public places, indoor workplaces, and on public transport.
Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
The law generally prohibits the advertising and promotion of tobacco products, with the exception of point of sale product display. The law prohibits all forms of tobacco sponsorship; however, the law fails to define sponsorship.
Tobacco Packaging and Labeling
Tobacco products must carry a combined text and picture warning that occupies no less than 50 percent of the front and back of the package. The law does not contain specific rotation requirements, instead stating that warnings are to be updated “as required by the public interest.” Misleading packaging and labeling, including terms such as “light” and “low tar,” is prohibited.
Cigarette Contents and Disclosures
The law regulates specified contents of cigarettes, including restricting some flavors. Permitted additives include sugars, sweeteners, menthol, mint, and spearmint. Some herbs are prohibited. The law allows the use of ingredients in cigarettes that facilitate nicotine uptake; ingredients that may create an impression of health benefits; and ingredients associated with energy and vitality. The law requires that manufacturers and importers disclose to government authorities information on the contents, but not emissions, of their products.
The law does not specifically prohibit the sale of single cigarette sticks; therefore, the law is interpreted as permitting the sale of single cigarette sticks. The law prohibits the sale of tobacco products within a distance of 1000 meters from schools and educational facilities. The law does not prohibit or restrict the sale of tobacco products in playgrounds, stadiums, healthcare facilities, cultural facilities, or through the internet. Vending machine sales of tobacco products are prohibited. The sale of tobacco products is prohibited to persons under the age of 18.
The law bans the import, display, sale, distribution, and manufacture of e-cigarettes. There is no law addressing the use of e-cigarettes in indoor public places, workplaces, and public transport; therefore, the use of e-cigarettes is allowed. There is also no law addressing e-cigarette advertising, promotion, and sponsorship.
Roadmap to Tobacco Control Legislation
Law No. 10 of 2016 on the Control of Tobacco and its Derivatives is the principal law governing tobacco control in Qatar. The law regulates smoke free places; tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and tobacco packaging and labeling. The law also prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes.
This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our legal staff. No in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts reviewed our analysis.