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Home \Legislation by Country \Uruguay \  Summary
Last updated: July 22nd 2015

Introduction

Uruguay became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on February 27, 2005.

Smoke Free Places: Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed public places, enclosed workplaces, and public transportation. In addition, smoking is prohibited within the outdoor premises of health and educational institutions. 

Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship: The law prohibits all forms of tobacco advertising and promotion by any media except advertising and display of tobacco products at points-of-sale. All forms of tobacco sponsorship are prohibited.

Tobacco Packaging and Labeling: One of four authorized pictures and accompanying text warnings must be displayed on 80 percent of the two principal display areas of each tobacco product package. Warnings must be distributed evenly across each brand and new warnings are to be issued every 12 months. Misleading packaging and labeling, including terms such as “light” and “low tar” and other signs, is prohibited. Further, each tobacco brand may only possess a single form of presentation.

Roadmap to Tobacco Control Legislation: Law No. 18.256 is the principal law governing tobacco control policies in Uruguay and covers smoke free places; tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; packaging and labeling of tobacco products; and enforcement and sanctions, among other regulatory measures. Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) Decree No. 284/008 is the implementing regulation for Law No. 18.256 and also addresses smoke free places, tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, and tobacco packaging and labeling policies. Decree No. 284/008 authorized the MoPH to issue regulations that prescribe and update health warnings on tobacco packaging every 12 months. Pursuant to this mandate, the MoPH has issued several ordinances on pack warnings. Ordinance No. 466 regulates the content, placement and appearance of health warnings on tobacco product packaging. Ordinance No. 514 further elaborates the ban on misleading tobacco packaging and labeling (pursuant to Law No. 18.256) by mandating that every brand of tobacco product may have only one form of packaging presentation. MoPH Decree No. 287-009 increased the size of pack warnings from 50 percent (as originally authorized by Law No. 18.256) to 80 percent. Most recently, Ordinance No. 993 prescribes the content for the seventh round of health warnings.

Review Status

This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our legal staff. No in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts were consulted for the review.

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