LANGUAGE
Last updated: February 12th 2020

Health Warnings/Messages Features

Type of product: Smoked Tobacco Product
Type of Warnings / Messages Required
Pictures (Photos), Text Warnings/Messages
Location and Size of Warnings / Messages on Unit Packaging
50% of front, 50% of back
Rotation Required
Required
Number of Warnings / Messages Authorized to Be Displayed at Any Given Time
4
Length of Rotation Period
Specified - Every 6 months up to 2 years
Analysis

The 2007 Law requires one warning to be printed on all tobacco product packages: “Warning: Smoking damages health and causes death.” Decree 443 and the 2010 Bylaw of Law No. 52 of 1981 require that under this principal warning must be printed an additional warning: “The damaging effects of smoking strike both the smoker and the non-smoker.”

The Bylaw requires these two textual warnings to be accompanied by a picture – e.g., of a heart, lung, or pregnancy - with additional relevant text. The picture and text should rotate. Several rounds of warnings have been issued with rotation periods of up to two years.

These warnings must occupy 50% of the front and back panels of the tobacco package.

These provisions meet FCTC Art. 11 with respect to size and frequency of rotation.

Type of product: Smokeless Tobacco Products
Type of Warnings / Messages Required
Pictures (Photos), Text Warnings/Messages
Location and Size of Warnings / Messages on Unit Packaging
50% of front, 50% of back
Rotation Required
Required
Number of Warnings / Messages Authorized to Be Displayed at Any Given Time
1
Length of Rotation Period
Specified - Every 6 months up to 2 years
Analysis

The 2007 Law requires one warning to be printed on all tobacco product packages: “Warning: Smoking damages health and causes death.” Decree 443 and the 2010 Bylaw of Law No. 52 of 1981 require that under this principal warning must be printed an additional warning: “The damaging effects of smoking strike both the smoker and the non-smoker.” Although these two warnings are not pertinent to smokeless tobacco, they currently appear on smokeless tobacco products.

The Bylaw requires that these two textual warnings be accompanied by a picture with additional relevant text. The picture and text should rotate. Several rounds of warnings have been issued with rotation periods of up to two years.

These warnings must occupy 50% of the front and back panels of the tobacco package. These provisions meet FCTC Art. 11 with respect to size.

FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines para. 36 provides that “Parties should consider requiring different health warnings and messages for different tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, pipe tobacco, bidis, and water pipe tobacco, in order to better focus on the specific health effects related to each product.” To align with the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines, the law should require health warnings specific to smokeless tobacco products.