LANGUAGE
Last updated: September 18th 2019

Health Warnings/Messages Features

Type of product: Smoked Tobacco Product
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

The law requires health warnings on all tobacco packaging and labeling. Pursuant to Ministerial Order No. 20/34, a text-only health warning must cover at least 30% of both the front and back faces. The warning statement shall read: “Smoking kills, causes cancer, heart diseases, and other health vices such as impotence, infertility, miscarriage and stroke.” It must be printed in black type on a white background and be situated on the lower portion of the display areas.

The ministerial order discusses rotation of messages, but only prescribes one warning message. It is possible that the rotation requirement refers to the languages of the health warning – presumably requiring the warning in either Kinyarwanda and English or Kinyarwanda and French.

The law meets the basic size requirement of FCTC Art. 11 in that warnings are required to cover no less than 30% of the principal display areas. To more fully align with FCTC Art. 11 and the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines, the law should require that the health warnings include images and cover 50% or more of principal display areas. In addition, the law should mandate that the Ministry of Health or other responsible agency prescribe multiple health warnings to be rotated and update or revise the set of health warnings within a set time period, preferably every 12 to 36 months.

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

The law requires health warnings on all tobacco packaging and labeling. Pursuant to Ministerial Order No. 20/34, a text-only health warning must cover at least 30% of both the front and back faces. The warning statement shall read: “Smoking kills, causes cancer, heart diseases, and other health vices such as impotence, infertility, miscarriage and stroke.” There is no separate warning specific to smokeless tobacco products. It must be printed in black type on a white background and be situated on the lower portion of the display areas.

The ministerial order discusses rotation of messages, but only prescribes one warning message. It is possible that the rotation requirement refers to the languages of the health warning – presumably requiring the warning in either Kinyarwanda and English or Kinyarwanda and French.

The law meets the basic size requirement of FCTC Art. 11 in that warnings are required to cover no less than 30% of the principal display areas. To more fully align with FCTC Art. 11 and the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines, the law should require that the health warnings include images and cover 50% or more of principal display areas. In addition, the law should mandate that the Ministry of Health or other responsible agency prescribe multiple health warnings to be rotated and update or revise the set of health warnings within a set time period, preferably every 12 to 36 months. Finally, the content of the health warnings for smokeless tobacco products should address the specific dangers of smokeless tobacco.