Draft Law #4030a Was Included Parliamentary Session Agenda and Might Be Considered till Year-end

December 5, 2018
Draft Law #4030a Was Included Parliamentary Session Agenda and Might Be Considered till Year-end

The draft law #4030a was registered back in 2016. It suggests banning the "placing of tobacco products, tobacco packages and mock-ups of tobacco products in retail outlets so that they are not visible for consumers in the retail outlets." In fact, this would mean a ban on displaying cigarettes in kiosks and other retail outlets.

The draft law is an example of poor quality regulation, for at least three reasons.

Firstly, the choice of regulatory tools is incorrect. The law declares a noble goal: to improve the health of the population, but the potential of the ban on the display to reduce the level of smoking in the country is doubtable. The authors also did not propose the rationale on how this ban would have a positive impact on public health. It is worth noting that there is not enough evidence that the appearance of cigarettes has an impact on the prevalence of smoking. According to Eurobarometer 385, the main reason for people to start smoking is following friends (79% of respondents) and parents (21% of responses). The appearance of cigarettes is a minor factor: only 3% of respondents chose this answer.

Secondly, the authors of the draft law did not predict the socio-economic consequences of reducing budget revenues as a result of the introduction of the ban. At the same time, according to National Retailers' Projections, this ban will result in the closure of up to 30% of retail outlets, which in turn will reduce jobs and budget revenues at all levels.

Thirdly, the text of the law is not qualitative from a legal point of view. According to the conclusion of the Central Scientific Experts Office of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, this draft law "has shortcomings of a technical and legal nature," and "separate terms and terminological expressions of the draft law are not consistent with the terminology of the current laws of Ukraine".

We hope that the deputies will be critically subjected to the "legislative initiatives" of such quality.

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