Last updated: January 19, 2024
Health Warnings/Messages Features
For cigarettes, required messages contain four parts:
(1) a first warning to be displayed on the front face in English (in bold, black type on a yellow background) and on the back face in English (in bold, black type on a yellow background) and te reo Maori (in bold, white type on a black background);
(2) a second warning to be displayed on one side (in black letters on a yellow background);
(3) an explanatory note (in black letters on a yellow background, except the quitline logo and sentence must be in black letters on a white background) followed by a "you can quit" statement (in Pantone Cool Gray 2C on a matt Pantone 448C background) to be displayed on the back face; and
(4) a graphic to be displayed on the front and back faces.
On the front face, the first warning (in English) and graphic together must cover at least 75% of the total area. On the back face, the first warning (in English and te reo Maori), explanatory note, and graphic together must cover at least 90% of the total area. The "you can quit" statement must cover the remaining 10% of the total area of the back face.
For cigarettes, there are 14 authorized messages which must be rotated, with the first set of seven messages appearing for 16 months beginning February 1, 2022 or any later even-numbered year. The second set of seven messages is required to appear from August 11, 2021 to May 31, 2022, and then for a period of 16 months beginning on February 1, 2023 or any later odd-numbered year. As indicated by the dates above, there is a four-month transition period during which required messages from both sets may appear.
For loose or pipe tobacco, there are 14 authorized warning messages and corresponding graphics and explanatory messages, which are the same set of 14 as for cigarettes. A warning message in English and corresponding graphic must occupy 75% the front of the package. A warning message in English and te reo Maori, corresponding explanatory message, corresponding graphic, and 'you can quit statement' must cover 75% of the back of the package. A second warning must appear under the flap (in the case of loose tobacco) or on the base of the package (in the case of pipe tobacco), the size of which varies depending upon the shape of the package. The rotation scheme that is required for cigarettes also applies to loose or pipe tobacco.
For cigars, there are five authorized warning messages, with corresponding graphics and explanatory messages. A warning message in English and te reo Maori and corresponding graphic must occupy 75% of the front of the package. A warning message in English and corresponding explanatory message must occupy 75% of the back of the package. (For a cigar tube, a text-only warning message in both English and te reo Maori must cover at least 95% of the total length and 60% of the total circumference of the tube.) During each 12-month period, beginning on March 1 each year, each warning and corresponding graphic and explanatory message must appear as nearly as possible on equal numbers of packages of each different brand.
In addition to the required messages, tobacco product packaging must appear standardized - packaging must be a standard color, size, and shape and may only contain specified information in a standard font type, size, and color.
The law provides that “no person shall import for sale, sell, pack, or distribute any tobacco product labelled or otherwise described as suitable for chewing, or for any other oral use (other than smoking).” However, the sale of nasal snuff is allowed.
On packages of nasal snuff, a text-only health warning is required to be displayed in the "reserved area" on the front and back of the package. "Reserved area" is defined as at least 32% of the total area of that surface. The warning message must be in English and te reo Maori, and be displayed in black font on a white background.
The law meets FCTC Art. 11 with respect to location. However, to fully meet FCTC Art. 11 and align with the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines, the law should require a combined text and pictorial 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.