UPDATED: 2015 ‘hot spots’

10 Jul 2015

Because so many countries have taken steps to adopt plain packaging, we’ve created a separate map of plain packs hot spots (see below), which will also soon require an update. As a result, plain packaging hot spots have been removed from this updated version. 

Concerning other issues, read below: 

Many hot spots indicate challenges from the tobacco industry to governments’ attempts to protect public health by implementing tobacco control measures. These occur at the national level (in courts) as well as in the international arena.


A challenge from the National Confederation of Industries has delayed the coming into force of a ban on tobacco additives. It was supposed to apply from September, 2013. Read our article.

Victory! Burkina Faso

The government passed regulations requiring pictorial health warnings. They are scheduled to come into force 6 April 2016. 

Victory! Cambodia

The tobacco control law was passed in April 2015 after a long struggle with the industry.

 It includes bans on sales to minors and pregnant women; advertising restrictions and pictorial warnings on tobacco packs. 

Read more here


Tobacco control measures are gradually being approved and put into place.

From 1 June 2015 smoking has been banned in all indoor public places in the capital Beijing, including offices, shopping malls and airports, as well as at outdoor stadiums, school grounds and public parks. In 2014, draft regulations for a nationwide public smoking ban were published.

A law baning tobacco advertising in public places is scheduled to come into force on 1 Sept. 2015, but “public places” has not been defined.

Côte d’Ivoire

The tobacco industry is lobbying fiercely to prevent tobacco control legislation being adopted in 2015.

This includes organising a workshop in May 2015 attended by members of Parliament and representatives of tobacco companies. One specific objective was to collect the tobacco industry’s concerns about the ongoing tobacco control legislative process. This is in complete violation of article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.


As the Government of Gabon is finalising regulations for its 2013 tobacco control law, the tobacco industry is pushing hard to influence the process. 

The industry proposed a workshop where it would give feedback on each draft regulation, in violation of WHO FCTC article 5.3, but after protest from the tobacco control community it didn’t go ahead. 


Philip Morris International is challenging a ban on its Be Marlboro campaign. Authorities outlawed it for illegally encouraging young people, ages 14-21, to smoke.

Read about efforts to end the Be Marlboro campaign.


The central government has introduced tobacco control measures, such as tobacco tax increases, and promised more. However, it backed down from a plan to introduce larger graphic health warnings, covering 85 percent of tobacco packages, earlier this year. 

Read the letter that FCA sent to the Government of India.


Indonesia is one of the largest countries that is not yet a Party to the WHO FCTC. There have been some positive steps in the country recently. For example, in 2014, graphic health warnings became mandatory on tobacco packages.

However, in February 2015 the Tobacco Bill was introduced into Parliament. Unlike an earlier bill, it emphasises the economic impact of tobacco rather than the health effects.


The tobacco industry has fought all attempts to implement regulations for the Tobacco Control Law. The matter is now in the courts.

Read our article.


Tobacco workers and their partners are fighting for recognition of their basic rights, including to collective bargaining.

Victory! Nigeria

The tobacco control bill was signed into law by outgoing President Jonathan on 27 May 2015.


Intense debate continues over proposed tobacco control legislation.

Read our article about how advocates are countering tobacco industry interference in Uganda.


After putting in place various TC measures in recent years, President Putin has drawn the line at taxes and announced that no significant changes will be made in tax rates before 2018. Advocates, however, will continue pushing for increasing tobacco prices through tax increases, which is recognised as one of the most effective tobacco control measures.


The government is working to pass regulations requiring pictorial health warnings.

South Africa

Here also the government is expected to pass regulations requiring pictorial health warnings.


The current 1980s tobacco control law is being revised and, as always, the tobacco industry is fighting against tougher measures.

International trade

Tobacco control advocates are concerned about two international trade agreements now being negotiated. They could limit governments’ ability to implement tobacco control measures.

The Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) includes the United States and European Union. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) includes 12 countries of the Pacific Rim. When signed, they will be the two largest regional trade agreements in force, and would likely serve as models for other multilateral trade and investment agreements.

Read FCA’s position on the trade deals.

UN Headquarters

Thanks to the work of FCA and other campaigners, tobacco control is included in the draft version of the Sustainable Development Goals that will replace the Millennium Development Goals in 2015.

The final decision will taken at the UN General Assembly in September.

Read more about our work on tobacco control in the post-2015 development agenda.


The government continues to fight a trade dispute with Philip Morris International at the World Bank.

Read our article.

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