Health Warnings/Messages Features
Currently, the requirements under Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Notice of April 21, 2009 are in effect. This notice requires that tobacco product packaging display one text message covering 30% of the front of the pack ("Smoking Kills") and another text message covering 30% of the back of the pack ("Smoking Seriously Harms You and Others Around You").
The Tobacco Control Act, 2016, once fully implemented, will require that tobacco product packaging display combined picture and text health warnings and messages occupying no less than 75% of the principal display areas (front and back) of the product. Section 44 of the TCA gives the Minister of Health and Social Welfare authority to issue regulations implementing packaging and labeling provisions. Such regulations have not yet been issued, and therefore it is unclear how many health warnings will be authorized, whether and how rotation is required, and for what duration of time the messages shall be displayed.
The current requirements meet the minimum size requirements of FCTC Art. 11 (30%). However, to fully align with FCTC Art. 11 and the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines, health warnings should occupy at least 50% of the front and back of the package and include both text messages and pictures.
The new requirements under the TCA will align with FCTC Art. 11 and the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines with respect to the size and content (pictures and text) of health warnings. However, to fully align with FCTC Art. 11 and the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines, the Minister must issue regulations that implement the law, providing the authorized images and text and detailing rotation requirements.
Section 16(2) of the Tobacco Control Act prohibits the import, manufacture, distribution, possession, sale, and offer for sale of smokeless tobacco products.