Last updated: March 6, 2020
Timor-Leste became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on March 22, 2005.
Smoke Free Places
Smoking is prohibited in many indoor public places, workplaces, and on public transportation, but is permitted in designated smoking areas in certain places, including airports, government facilities, and boats intended for transportation of passengers.
Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
The law prohibits many forms of tobacco advertising and promotion, with exceptions for point of sale product display. However, at times, the scope of the restriction is unclear. At points of sale, products may not be displayed where they are directly accessible to consumers, though visibility is allowed. There are some restrictions on tobacco sponsorship, but it is unclear whether publicity of permitted sponsorship is prohibited under the law.
Tobacco Packaging and Labeling
All tobacco product packaging must display one of six combined text and pictorial health warnings covering 85 percent of the front and 100 percent of the back of the package. In addition, a text warning must cover 100 percent of the top and and at least 80 percent of the bottom of the package. Misleading packaging and labeling, including terms such as “light” and “less 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 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 vending machines and the internet; and in educational facilities, playgrounds, stadiums, healthcare institutions, 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 17.
The law prohibits the sale and advertising of e-cigarettes. The use of e-cigarettes is prohibited in places where smoking is prohibited.
Roadmap to Tobacco Control Legislation
Decree-Law No. 14/2016 of June 8 on the Tobacco Control Regime is the primary law governing tobacco control in Timor-Leste. Ministerial Statutory Order No. 10/2018 of May 9 on Regulations for Labeling of Tobacco Products was issued under the 2016 law and includes implementing details related to health warnings and other packaging and labeling requirements. (Ministerial Statutory Order No. 10/2018 replaced a prior set of regulations issued in Ministerial Statutory Order No. 2/2018.)
This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our legal staff. No in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts reviewed our analysis.