Smoking in Latvia
This article's lead section may be too long for the length of the article. (December 2018)
Smoking in Latvia is currently regulated through the implementation of multiple policies and laws against the use and consumption of tobacco products. Many of these regulations resulted from the Fifty-Sixth World Health Assembly in 2003, after which Latvia adopted the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). Latvia has higher prevalences of smoking tobacco in children and adults than many other European countries, where in 2014, it was reported that 37.6% of adults currently smoked tobacco (53.6% of all adult males and 22.3% of all adult females). These high prevalences also occur in children, where the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) in 2011 found that 40.5% of children in grades 7 through 9 reported current tobacco use, while 31.5% were smoking cigarettes. The percentage of children smoking tobacco decreased between the years of 2011 and 2014, where another GYTS survey indicated that 24.7% of youth from grades 7 through 9 regularly smoked tobacco.
Currently, Latvia upholds the smoking standards set by the World Health Organization by following the FCTC MPOWER tobacco control methods. These measures include monitoring tobacco usage, protecting the public from passive smoking, offering the means to quit smoking, warning the public of the associated dangers, enforcing bans and regulations, and raising taxes on tobacco products. Multiple laws have been implemented in the last twenty years with these measures in mind that aim to address the dangers of smoking tobacco on an individual's health along with the health of those around them.
In 1995, the advertisement of tobacco products on radio and on television was prohibited. Four years later, the advertisement of tobacco products was only allowed in certain publications that were intended for tobacco merchants and producers, and packaging of tobacco products was required to adhere to certain images and to contain at least two warnings against the dangers of smoking tobacco. By 2005, it was entirely prohibited to smoke in schools and smoking in hospitals, restaurants, correctional facilities, workplaces, casinos, hotels, and other public spaces was prohibited unless within a designated smoking area. As of 2010, it is illegal to sell any smokeless tobacco products and to manufacture or sell cigarettes that exceed 1 mg of nicotine, and health warnings are required to cover approximately half of the surface area of all cigarette packs.  In 2013, Latvia passed a by-law on the State Commission on Restriction of Smoking. This state institution was given the task of ensuring the citizens' rights to smoke-free air, by coordinating and submitting proposals on smoking prevention programs and tobacco product requirements.
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- "Radio and Television Law of 1995" (PDF). Tobacco Control Laws. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
- "On Restrictions Regarding Sale, Advertising, and Use of Tobacco Products" (PDF). Untobaccocontrol. 2010. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
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- Cabinet of Ministers (August 27, 2013). "By-Law on the State Commission on Restriction of Smoking" (PDF). tobaccocontrollaws. Retrieved November 19, 2018.