Dushanbe, May 31, Interfax - The lower house of Tajik parliament backed government-proposed changes to the advertising law on Wednesday.
Introducing the bill, head of the country's anti-monopoly agency Sajdi Kodirzoda told deputies that the amendments regulate the provision of advertising services in all spheres.
"According to the amendments, makers of tobacco and alcohol products will not be allowed to act as an ad sponsor. These changes also prohibit placement of the sponsors' advertisement in information programs and current news on television and radio, both state and private ones," Kodirzoda said.
The passage of the amendments coincided with the day when the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners mark the World No Tobacco Day to draw attention to the additional smoking-related health risks.
According to the Tajik Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population, there are 500,000 tobacco smokers in the republic, 78% of them are men, 10% women, and 12% young people.
In 2013 Tajikistan ratified the WHO Framework convention on tobacco control, which prompted it to draft a new version of its law, entitled "On limiting the use of tobacco products in the republic." The new draft law categorically bans consumption of any type of tobacco products, including hookah and naswar, as well as electronic cigarettes, inside and around buildings of health and social-protection institutions, cultural, sports, religious, scientific-educational institutions, inside administrative buildings, offices of state and non-governmental organizations, restaurants, cafes, bars and holiday houses.
Furthermore, smoking is banned at indoor venues of public and cultural-entertainment events, hotels and dormitories, on all types of public transport including taxi, as well as bus stops, inside and around airport and train station buildings, at children's playgrounds, in cars carrying passengers younger than 16, communal stairs and lifts, and underground walkways.
Consumption of any type of tobacco products, including hookah and naswar, as well as electronic cigarettes, is permitted on specially equipped smoking premises. Upon request an authorized state health agency will permit allocated spaces to be equipped for the consumption of tobacco products at prisons, mental hospitals and care homes for the elderly and disabled.