LANGUAGE
Last updated: June 14th 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
65% of front, 65% of back, Side(s)
Rotation Required
Required
Number of Warnings / Messages Authorized to Be Displayed at Any Given Time
14
Length of Rotation Period
Specified - 12 months
Analysis

One of 14 authorized combined text and picture warnings must occupy 65% of both the front and back of the package. The same combined warning must appear on both sides. There are three sets of authorized warnings, each of which must be used for one year and then replaced with another authorized set the following year. Each of the 14 warnings within the set must appear on an equal number of products in a given year.  The combined warning must be placed at the upper edge of the pack.

A general warning, “Smoking kills - Stop smoking immediately”, must occupy 50% of one of the lateral sides of the package, and an information warning,  “Tobacco smoke contains over 70 carcinogens”, must occupy 50% of the other lateral side.

For smoked tobacco products other than cigarettes, rolling tobacco and water pipe tobacco, the combined warning must occupy 30% of the most visible surface and 40% of the second most visible surface. These products are not required to carry the general and informational warnings.

The law meets FCTC Art. 11 and aligns with the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines in that the warnings contain both picture and text, cover more than 50% of the principal display areas (for cigarettes, rolling tobacco, and water pipe), and rotation is required. To more fully align with the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines, the drafters of the law should consider increasing the size of the health warning to 50% or more for tobacco products other than cigarettes, rolling tobacco, and water pipe.

Type of product: Smokeless Tobacco Products
Type of Warnings / Messages Required
Text Warnings/Messages
Location and Size of Warnings / Messages on Unit Packaging
30% of front, 30% of back
Rotation Required
Not Required
Number of Warnings / Messages Authorized to Be Displayed at Any Given Time
1
Length of Rotation Period
Unspecified
Analysis

A single text health warning must occupy 30% of the front and back of smokeless tobacco product packaging. This health warning must state: “Tobacco is harmful to your health and is addictive.” The law does not require that this health warning be updated regularly or within any specified time frame.

The law meets FCTC Art. 11 with respect to the minimum size of the health warning. However, to more fully align with FCTC Art. 11 and the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines, the law should provide for multiple health warnings for smokeless tobacco products. In addition, the law should require that health warnings occupy 50% or more of the most visible display areas, contain pictures as well as text, and be updated every 12-36 months.