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
65% of front, 65% of back
Rotation Required
Required
Number of Warnings / Messages Authorized to Be Displayed at Any Given Time
16
Length of Rotation Period
Specified - 12 months
Analysis

One of 14 combined picture and text health warnings must occupy 65% of the front and 65% of the back of all smoked tobacco product packages. The combined health warning must also include smoking cessation information. The combined health warnings must be rotated so that each of the 14 combined warnings appears regularly on an equal number of unit packs for each brand. There are three sets of 14 combined warnings, and each set is to be used for a calendar year. Set I is to appear beginning from the date of entry into force of Royal Decree No. 579/2017 (June 11, 2017).

A general warning - "Smoking Kills" - must occupy 50% of one lateral side of the package, and an information message - "Tobacco smoke contains over 70 substances known to cause cancer" - must occupy 50% of the other lateral side.

For smoked tobacco products other than cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco, and waterpipe tobacco, packages must carry a general warning covering 30% of the most visible surface, and a text-only warning covering 40% of the next most visible surface.

Manufacturers and distributors have until September 11, 2017, three months from the date of entry into force, to comply with the new health warning requirements. Products meeting the prior health warning requirements (30% front, 40% back) may continue to be sold until April 11, 2018, ten months from the date of entry into force.

The law meets FCTC Art. 11 and aligns with the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines with respect to location, composition, rotation, and size.

Law Source, Section
Royal Decree 579/2017
Arts. 12-16
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 sale of tobacco products for oral use (e.g., snus) is prohibited.

On the packaging of other smokeless tobacco products, the following text warning must occupy 30% of the front and back of the package: “This tobacco product damages your health and is addictive.”

Manufacturers and distributors have until September 11, 2017, three months from the date of entry into force, to comply with the new health warning requirements. Products meeting the prior health warning requirements (30% front only) may continue to be sold until April 11, 2018, ten months from the date of entry into force.

The law meets the minimum requirements of FCTC Art. 11 in that a health warning must occupy at least 30% of the principal display areas of a tobacco product package. 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.

Law Source, Section
Royal Decree 579/2017
Arts. 18, 25