Last updated: May 20, 2020
Health Warnings/Messages Features
Combined pictorial and text health warnings are to be displayed on 65% of the two principal display areas (front and back). These combined warnings are presented in three sets of 14. The sets are to be used one at a time for a period of 12 months each. The combined health warnings within each set must be rotated so that each of the 14 combined warnings appears on an equal number of packages of each brand. Set 1 is to be used from the date of entry into force until December 31, 2017. Quitline information is required to be a part of each warning.
Text messages are required to be shown on two lateral sides. A general warning stating “Smoking kills” must cover 50% of one lateral side. An information message stating “Tobacco smoke contains over 70 substances that cause cancer” must cover 50% of the other lateral side.
For cigars and cigarillos sold individually, packaging must include the general warning “Smoking kills” covering 30% of the most visible surface. The warning must also include information on the quitline. In addition, one the text warnings specified in Annex I of the law must cover 40% of the next most visible surface.
The law meets FCTC Art. 11 and aligns with the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines in that warnings meet the minimum size requirements of covering at least 30% (and more than 50%) of the principal display areas, the warnings contain pictures as well as text, and rotation is required.
The law prohibits the sale of tobacco for oral use.
For other permitted forms of smokeless tobacco, a text-only health warning is required to cover 30% of the two largest surfaces of the packaging. The warning states: “This tobacco product damages your health and is addictive.” There are no requirements for rotation, nor does the law state how frequently this warning must be updated.
The law meets FCTC Art. 11 in that it requires a text health warning to cover at least 30% of the most visible display areas. However, to align more fully with FCTC Art. 11 and the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines, the law should require that health warnings occupy at least 50% of the most visible display areas and that these warnings contain both text and pictures. In addition, the law should require that the warning(s) be updated every 12 to 36 months.