LANGUAGE
Last updated: December 19th 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
85% of front, 85% of back, Side(s)
Rotation Required
Required
Number of Warnings / Messages Authorized to Be Displayed at Any Given Time
10
Length of Rotation Period
Specified - 2 years
Analysis

As of December 8, 2019, plain packaging is required for cigarette packs available for retail sale.

The law requires that images must occupy 85% of both principal display areas (PDAs). Images and text must be placed at the top edge of both PDAs of the pack or carton. Rotation of the set of images is at the rate of 5,000 packs/cartons per image.

In addition to the pictorial health warnings on each PDA, each side panel of the unit (e.g., pack) and outside (e.g., carton) packaging must display a text warning statement.  One statement must be printed on both sides and must occupy no less than 60% of each side. 

For cigars, picture and text warnings must occupy 50% of both PDAs (30% if the package is not rectangular). The warnings shall be printed in four colors.

The Tobacco Products Control Act of 2017 requires the National Tobacco Products Control Board to review the required health warnings every two years.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 11 and the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines in regard to the size, content, location, and rotation of health warnings on tobacco product packages.

Type of product: Smokeless Tobacco Products
Type of Warnings / Messages Required
Pictures (Photos), Text Warnings/Messages
Location and Size of Warnings / Messages on Unit Packaging
55% of front, 55% of back
Rotation Required
Required
Number of Warnings / Messages Authorized to Be Displayed at Any Given Time
4
Length of Rotation Period
Specified - 2 years
Analysis

The law prohibits the importation or production of smokeless tobacco products. However, shredded tobacco is typically used for both hand-rolled cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. Therefore, the health warnings for shredded tobacco and blended shredded tobacco are cited here. Picture and text warnings must occupy 55% of both PDAs (30% if the package is not rectangular) and be printed in four colors. There are four warnings prescribed and rotation must be at the rate of 500 packs/cartons per image. It should be noted, however, that the warnings pertain to “smoking” rather than chewing.

The Tobacco Products Control Act of 2017 requires the National Tobacco Products Control Board to review the required health warnings every two years.

To align with FCTC Art. 11 and the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines, health warnings specific to smokeless tobacco products should be required on tobacco products used for chewing, sucking, or snuffing.