Last updated: September 29, 2022
Health Warnings/Messages Features
As of January 1, 2020, plain packaging is required for all packaging of cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco.
One of 14 combined picture and text health warnings must cover 65% of the front and back of each unit pack and any outside packaging. The same warnings must appear on both sides, and on the outside of the package. Combined warnings must also include smoking cessation information in the form of a quitline. The text of the combined warning shall be printed in white on a black background. The cessation information shall be printed in black on a warm yellow background.
Cylindrical packets must display two combined health warnings, equidistant from each other, each covering 65% of their respective half of the curved surface.
There are three sets of 14 combined warnings, and each set is to be used for a period of one year and rotated on an annual basis. Each combined health warning available for use in a given year shall be displayed in equal numbers on each brand of tobacco products.
In addition to the combined warnings, a general text-only warning stating “Smoking kills – quit now” must appear on 50% of one lateral side. An information message stating “Tobacco smoke contains over 70 substances known to cause cancer” must appear on 50% of the other lateral side. These warnings must appear in black Helvetica bold type on a white background, in the center of the space reserved for them. On packets that have a hinged lid resulting in a split of the side surfaces when open, the general warning and information message must appear in their entirety on the larger parts of these split surfaces. The general warning must also appear on the inside of the top surface that is visible when the packet is open.
The above provisions ensure the law aligns with best practice, as reflected in FCTC Art. 11 and the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines, with respect to health warnings for smoked tobacco.
The sale of tobacco products for oral use (e.g., snus) is prohibited.
For other smokeless tobacco products, each unit packet and any outside packaging must carry the text-only health warning: “This tobacco product damages your health and is addictive.”
The health warning must cover 30% of the two largest surfaces of the unit packet and any outside packaging.
The law does not align with best practice, as reflected in FCTC Art. 11 and the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines, with respect to health warnings for smokeless tobacco. To more fully align with FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines, the warnings should occupy 50% of principal display areas and contain pictorial warnings.
In addition, the law should have more than one warning as an option, and require these warnings to be rotated every 12 months.