Last updated: September 17, 2019
Health Warnings/Messages Features
As of December 1, 2012, plain packaging of tobacco products available for retail sale in Australia is required. It is illegal to sell the old stock.
Cigarettes packages must display: 1) one of 14 warning messages and corresponding graphic(s) occupying 75% of the front face, 2) the same warning message and corresponding graphic(s) with a corresponding explanatory message occupying 90% the back face, and 3) an informational message on one full side. A quitline logo and number must also be printed on the back face. If the package has a flip-top, the whole of the flip-top portion must be covered by the warning statement.
Tobacco pouches and cylindrical packages must display: 1) one of 14 warning messages and corresponding graphic(s) occupying 75% the front face and the back face; and 2) an informational message on the inside flap (pouches) or outer surface of the base (cylindrical packages over 41 mm in height). A quitline logo and number must also be printed on the back face. For smaller cylinders, the warning statement and corresponding graphic must occupy at least 60% of the surface of the lid (considered the front face). The same warning statement and an explanatory message (which includes the quitline logo and number) must be printed on 60% of surface of the base (considered the back face).
For cigar packages (other than cigar tubes), one of five warning messages and corresponding graphic(s) must occupy at least 75% of the front face (and at least 188 cm2 of the front face if the area of the front outer surface is 250 cm2 or greater). The back must display the same warning message and an explanatory statement (which includes the quitline logo and number) occupying 75% of the back face (and at least 188 cm2 of the back face if the area of the back outer surface is 250 cm2 or greater).
For cigar tubes, one of five text warning messages must cover at least 95% of the length of the package and must extend to cover at least 60% of the circumference of the package.
For bidis, one of five text warning messages must be printed in black on a white rectangle measuring at least 50 mm x 20 mm.
Rotation: For cigarettes and tobacco in pouches or cylindrical packages, two sets of seven health warnings and corresponding explanatory messages are rotated every 12 months. During the 12 months, each of the seven warnings must appear equally on packages, with a four-month overlap period between sets during which all 14 may be displayed. For cigars (including cigar tubes) and bidis, the warnings must appear equally over a 24-month period.
For smokeless tobacco products, one of two text warnings must cover at least 25% of the front face and back face of the package, in black print on a white background. Each warning must appear equally over a period of 24 months. To meet FCTC Art. 11, health warnings should occupy at a minimum 30% of all principal display areas.
To more fully align with FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines, the warnings should occupy 50% of principal display areas and contain pictorial warnings.