Health Warnings/Messages Features
The law requires that smoked tobacco product packaging display a combined text and graphic health warning covering 65% of the front and back surfaces of each unit packet and outside packaging. The combined health warnings also include quitline information – “Ask for help. 67037333; www.spkc.gov.lv.” Three sets of combined warnings have been issued, with each set containing 14 warnings. Warnings within each set shall be rotated for a period of one year.
The law requires a general warning – “Smoking kills – quit now” – to appear on 50% of one lateral side. An informative notice – “Tobacco smoke contains over 70 substances known to cause cancer” shall appear on 50% of the other lateral side.
The law meets FCTC Art. 11 and aligns with the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines in that warnings meet the minimum size requirements of covering at least 30% (and more than 50%) of the principal display areas, the warnings contain pictures as well as text, and rotation is required.
The law requires that smokeless tobacco products display a text- only health warning covering 30% of the two largest surfaces, placed parallel to the main text. The warning must state: “This tobacco product damages your health and is addictive.”
The law meets FCTC Art. 11 with respect to the minimum size requirements of covering at least 30%. To more fully align with FCTC Art. 11 and the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines, the law should require a combined text and picture warning that occupies 50% or more of the most visible surfaces of the pack. In addition, more than one warning should be authorized and these warnings should be rotated and updated over time.