A Strong Tobacco Control Is Adopted in Botswana

A Strong Tobacco Control Is Adopted in Botswana

Published in the official gazette on 29th October 2021, Botswana’s tobacco control law, one of the best tobacco control legislations in Africa, very well aligns with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) to which Botswana is a party since January 2005.

Amongst other very important points, the law, which repeals and re-enacts the Control of Smoking Act of July 1, 1993 (Cap. 65:04):

  • establishes a Tobacco Control Committee
  • institutes a license to sell tobacco or any tobacco product
  • prohibits smoking in public places
  • prohibits tobacco advertising promotion and sponsorship
  • mandates Pictorial Health Warnings covering not less than 70 per cent of each principal display area
  • prohibits the sale of tobacco products to and by people younger than 21
  • protects tobacco control policies from commercial and other interests of the tobacco industry by limiting government interactions with the tobacco industry to only when necessary for effective regulation of the tobacco industry or tobacco products, mandating full transparency at all interactions with the industry
  • prohibits government partnerships with, endorsements of, or support from the tobacco industry.
  • prohibits government incentives or privileges related to any phase of the production or marketing of tobacco products or growing of tobacco.

According to the Tobacco Atlas, every year, more than 1,500 people are killed by tobacco-caused diseases in Botswana. Yet, the Global Adult Tobacco Survey, GATS Botswana 2017, reveals that up to 17.6 percent or 240,000 adults of the country’s tiny population of about 2 million, use tobacco making it one of the highest in Africa.

This legislation comes 17 years after Botswana demonstrated engagement to protect its people from tobacco by ratifying the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The tobacco industry evidently fought to delay adoption of the law. Its rapid implementation will ensure that thousands of lives are saved from the devasting effects of tobacco use.

Publications related to the Botswana Law