This week, the government of the canton of Fribourg decided to raise the smoking age from 16 to 18 across the canton, according to RTS.
Research suggests that 57% of smokers start before the age of 18. The hope is that if tobacco is less accessible to young people fewer will end up with a damaging lifelong habit.
The new rules cover electronic cigarettes, a product that some have accused companies of marketing to young people.
The new law was accepted by Fribourg’s parliament by 89 against 6 with 5 abstentions.
Fribourg joins the cantons of Valais, Geneva and Bern, which have also applied standard tobacco restrictions to electronic cigarettes.
Switzerland has high rates of smoking. 55% of men and 42% of women take up smoking at some point in their lives.
Smoking costs Switzerland around CHF 5 billion a year, mainly additional health care and disability insurance, a cost that is largely covered by the majority of non-smokers via taxes, disability insurance payments and health insurance premiums – Switzerland’s compulsory health insurance system offers no premium discounts for non-smokers.
RTS article (in French) – Take a 5 minute French test now
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