Last updated: December 6, 2021
Health Warnings/Messages Features
One of 13 combined picture and text health warnings must occupy 65% of the front and 65% of the back of all smoked tobacco products packages. The combined health warning must also include smoking cessation information: “Get help to stop smoking at www.nhs.uk/quit”. The combined health warnings must be rotated so that each of the 13 combined warnings appears on between 1/24 and 1/12 of the total number of packs produced under each brand name each year. (Note: Packs in Northern Ireland will continue to display health warnings from Directive 2014/40/EU, whereas packs in England, Scotland, and Wales will display health warnings established under the EU Exit Regulations.)
A general warning - "Smoking Kills - Quit now" or "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.
Large and individually wrapped cigars 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.
Plain packaging is required. Therefore, no other marks or designs to promote the tobacco product may appear on the packaging.
The law aligns with FCTC Art. 11 and the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines with respect to the size, content, rotation, and format of health warnings on smoked tobacco products.
The sale of tobacco products for oral use (e.g., snus) is prohibited.
For 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.”
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.