LANGUAGE
Last updated: September 18th 2019

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
30% of front, 50% of back
Rotation Required
Required
Number of Warnings / Messages Authorized to Be Displayed at Any Given Time
13
Length of Rotation Period
Specified - not more frequently than once a year
Analysis

The law requires text warnings to cover 30% of the front side and graphic warnings to cover 50% of the back side of the package. Such warnings must be printed on white edged by a black frame. The law lacks other details about font, border thickness, etc. Tobacco companies may exploit such ambiguities to lessen the effect of the warnings.

The law provides one main warning for the front side ("Smoking kills.") and 12 additional warnings, which include images, for the back side. The 12 warnings must appear on an equal number of packages during the year. While the warnings do not technically "rotate," the law achieves a similar effect. The Ministry of Health has the power to change the law every year, which would aid in the rotation.

The law meets the minimum requirements of FCTC Art. 11 with respect to size. However, to align with the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines, the law should require pictorial warnings covering 50% of all principal display areas. By adding such warnings, mandating the rotation schedule, and clarifying details of the warnings, the law will align with FCTC Art. 11 and the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines.

Russia, as part of the Eurasian Economic Union, has adopted stricter regulations on tobacco product packaging and labeling which will require pictorial health warning labels on 50% of two principal display areas. The required health warnings and images must appear on all tobacco product packages for retail sale by November 15, 2017.

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
Rotation Required
Not Required
Number of Warnings / Messages Authorized to Be Displayed at Any Given Time
1
Length of Rotation Period
Unspecified
Analysis

The law requires a single text warning to cover 30% of the front side of the package. The warning will state “This tobacco product will harm your health.” Such warnings must be printed on white edged by a black frame. The warning must be in capital letters in black against a white background with fat, clear, easily readable font of maximally large size. The interline spacing must not exceed the height of the font. The information must be equally distributed over the entire area encompassed by the border. Tobacco companies may exploit such ambiguities to lessen the effect of the warnings.

The law does not meet the minimum requirements of FCTC Art. 11 with respect to size because the warning is only on one side, while the FCTC requires a warning on both sides. Furthermore, to align with the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines, the law should require pictorial warnings covering 50% of all principal display areas. Additionally, the law should provide for multiple rotating warnings, as a single warning will lose its effectiveness over time. By adding larger pictorial warnings, mandating the rotation schedule, and clarifying details of the warnings, the law will align with FCTC Art. 11 and the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines.

The Eurasian Economic Union's Technical Regulations for Tobacco Products do not apply to smokeless tobacco products.