Switzerland approves tougher restrictions on cigarette advertising


Swiss voters approved tougher restrictions on cigarette advertising but rejected a proposal by animal rights activists to make Switzerland the first country to ban medical and scientific experiments on animals in referendums held Sunday.

Only 21% of voters voted in favor of banning animal experimentation, compared to 79%, according to government figures, during the national referendum organized within the framework of the Swiss tradition of direct democracy.

Voters approved of tougher restrictions on tobacco advertising, with 57% in favor.

The restrictions will see such adverts banned in newspapers, cinemas, the internet, at events and on billboards, with supporters claiming such adverts encourage young people to smoke.

“I’m for it because it’s a shame that people are starting (to smoke), it’s a social phenomenon and it doesn’t do anyone any good,” said Angela Margeuron, from Carouge.

“We constantly hear about people ending up in hospital or dying or having huge health issues, but the publicity is still there, of course it’s all about the money, as always.”

Animal testing

Advocates had wanted to stop the tests, saying they were unethical and unnecessary, but faced opposition from the country’s powerful pharmaceutical lobby, which warned of the economic damage such a ban would cause. could cause.

“We welcome the clear rejection of this harmful initiative,” said Rene Buholzer, CEO of lobby group Interpharma.

“This shows that the Swiss population recognizes the central role of research for people’s health and for prosperity in Switzerland.”

Proponents said the animals in labs and used to provide food suffer from serious discrimination.

“Why don’t we have more empathy for them?” said campaign co-chairman Renato Werndli.

Two more votes

The government was defeated in the other two votes on Sunday.

His proposal to scrap the 1% tax on equity raising was opposed by 63% with just 37% in favour, a result Finance Minister Ueli Maurer said sent a negative signal to companies looking to invest in Switzerland.

Bern’s plan to increase financial support for the media also failed, rejected by 55% of voters.

“The majority thought that probably too much money was being given to the media, and many agreed with the argument that the proposal favored big publishers,” Communications Minister Simonetta Sommaruga told a news conference. alongside Maurer.

“Over the past few weeks, the argument has prevailed that the wrong people will benefit.”

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. For more A-Brands news, click here. Click subscribe to register ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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