Cigarette Package Health Warnings 2010 International Report

This report summarizes international cigarette package health warning requirements by country/jurisdiction, including both Parties and Non-Parties to theWHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The report is an update of a 2008 report which ranked 140 countries based on the size of the warnings on cigarette packages. This updated 2010 version provides an international overview ranking 175 countries/jurisdictions based on warning size, and lists countries/jurisdictions that have finalized requirements for picture-based warnings.

Under Article 11 of the FCTC, Parties to the Convention must require that all packages of tobacco products carry health warnings describing the harmful effects of tobacco use or other appropriate messages which “should be 50% or more of the principal display areas but shall be no less than 30% of the display areas” and may be in the form of or include picture warnings. For most cigarette packages, the “principal display areas” are the front and back of the package. Each Party must implement these Article 11 obligations within three years after the FCTC comes into force for that Party.

Well-designed package health warnings are effective at reducing tobacco consumption, as is recognized in guidelines to implement Article 11 of the FCTC adopted by the Conference of the Parties in 2008.

Since the last report, there have been many developments. Uruguay now has the largest warnings in the world which cover 80% of the front and back of packages. Honduras has also adopted legislation to require picturebased warnings to cover 80% of the package front and back, with implementing regulations required to be adopted by August 21, 2011. Many countries have also improved their warning requirements, often increasing the size and requiring pictures. At least 39 countries/ jurisdictions now have picture warning requirements, with many more countries in the process of doing so.

There has been tremendous progress internationally in implementing package warnings, which is very encouraging. The continuing and growing momentum will assist countries seeking to implement improved measures.

INFORMATION COLLECTION

Considerable effort was made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this report. Information obtained as of October 19, 2010 has been included to ensure that the report was as up-to-date as possible before publication. However, for a few countries, it was not possible to confirm national requirements prior to press time. Moreover, national requirements for package warnings are constantly evolving and, as such, it may be that for some countries listed in this report further progress may have been made but is not reflected in this report.

Country information was only included in this report once legal requirements (such as an Act, regulation, or decree) were finalized, and no further approval steps were needed. For some countries, the transition period for warning implementation on packages has not been completed; however if no further approval steps were needed, these new requirements were included in the report. Where new information for a country could not be confirmed prior to publication, this new information was not included.

This report provides information only for packages of cigarettes, not other tobacco products. Information for cigarette cartons has not been compiled.

COUNTRIES REQUIRING PICTURE WARNINGS

At least 39 countries/jurisdictions have finalized requirements for picture warnings.29 The listing below includes the year of implementation, including different years where there have been two or more rounds of picture warnings.

1 Canada (2001)
2 Brazil (2002; 2004; 2009)
3 Singapore (2004; 2006)
4 Thailand (2005; 2007; 2010)
5 Venezuela (2005; 2009)
6 Jordan (2006)
7 Australia (2006; rotation
of sets A, B every 12 months)
8 Uruguay (2006; 2008; 2009; 2010)
9 Panama (2006; 2009)
10 Belgium (2006; rotation of one
of three sets every 12 months
starting 2011)
11 Chile (2006; 2007; 2008; 2009; 2010)
12 Hong Kong (S.A.R., China) (2007)
URUGUAY 2010 DJIBOUTI (BACK)
(FRONT)
THAILAND (2010) TURKEY (FRONT) BRUNEI
13 New Zealand (2008; rotation
of sets A, B every 12 months)
14 Romania (2008)
15 United Kingdom (2008)
16 Egypt (2008)
17 Brunei (2008)
18 Cook Islands (2008) 4
19 Iran (2009)
20 Malaysia (2009)
21 Taiwan, China (2009)
22 Peru (2009)
23 Djibouti (2009)
24 Mauritius (2009)
25 India (2009, 2010)
26 Cayman Islands (2009)
27 Latvia (2010)
28 Pakistan (2010)
29 Switzerland (2010; rotation
of sets 1,2,3 every 24 months)
30 Mongolia (2010)
31 Colombia (2010)
32 Turkey (2010)
33 Mexico (2010)
34 Philippines (2010) 5
35 Norway (2011)
36 Malta (2011)
37 France (2011)
38 Guernsey (2011)
39 Spain (2011)

SIZE RANKINGS AVERAGE OF PACKAGE FRONT AND BACK

This listing indicates the world leaders in terms of size as an average of the package front and back – only those countries exceeding 50% on average are listed here. For each country there is indicated in parentheses the size (including a border, if required) on the front, followed by the back. For example (60%, 70%) means 60% of front and 70% of back.

80% Uruguay (80%, 80%)
65% Mauritius (60%, 70%)
65% Mexico (30%, 100%)
60% Australia (30%, 90%)
60% New Zealand (30%, 90%)
60% Cook Islands (30%, 90%) 4
60% Philippines (60%, 60%) 5
56% Belgium (48%, 63%)
56% Switzerland (48%, 63%)
55% Thailand (55%, 55%)
54% Turkey (65%, 43%)
52% Kyrgyz Republic (52%, 52%)
52% Finland (45%, 58%)
52% Ireland (45%, 58%)
50% 18 countries/jurisdictions

REGIONAL BREAKDOWN LARGEST SIZES BY REGION

African Region (AFRO)
65% Mauritius (60%, 70%)
50% Cameroon (50%, 50%)
50% Eritrea (50%, 50%)
50% Ghana (50%, 50%)
50% Madagascar (50%, 50%)
43% Nigeria (43%, 43%)

Americas Region (AMRO)
80% Uruguay (80%, 80%)
65% Mexico (30%, 100%)
50% Bolivia (50%, 50%)
50% Canada (50%, 50%)
50% Chile (50%, 50%)
50% Panama (50%, 50%)
50% Brazil (0%, 100%)
50% Venezuela (0%, 100%)

Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMRO)
50% Djibouti (50%, 50%)
50% Egypt (50%, 50%)
50% Iran (50%, 50%)
40% Pakistan (40%, 40%)
30% Jordan (30%, 30%)

European Region (EURO)
56% Belgium (48%, 63%)
56% Switzerland (48%, 63%)
54% Turkey (65%, 43%)
52% Kyrgyz Republic (52%, 52%)
52% Finland (45%, 58%)
52% Ireland (45%, 58%)
50% Albania (50%, 50%)
South-East Asia Region (SEARO)
55% Thailand (50%, 50%)
30% Bangladesh (30%, 30%)
30% Maldives (30%, 30%)

Western Pacific Region (WPRO)
60% Australia (30%, 90%)
60% New Zealand (30%, 90%)
60% Cook Islands (30%, 90%) 4
60% Philippines (60%, 60%) 5
50% Brunei Darussalam (50%, 50%)
50% Hong Kong (S.A.R., China) (50%, 50%)
50% Singapore (50%, 50%)
50% Malaysia (40%, 60%)

INTERNATIONAL RANKINGS

INTERNATIONAL size pack
size pack
size pack

THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY DIRECTIVE – EXPLANATORY COMMENT

The European Community specifies that the warning size is to be as follows, plus a border (3-4mm in width) that is to be in addition to the space for the warnings:

35% (30% front, 40% back) unilingual countries
39% (32% front, 45% back) bilingual countries
43% (35% front, 50% back) trilingual countries

Once the required border is factored in, the required size in effect increases to the following:
48% (43% front, 53% back), unilingual countries
52%, (45% front, 58% back), bilingual countries
56%, (48% front, 63% back), trilingual countries

Many EC Member States are not compliant with the EC Directive that requires the border to be in addition to the warning. Packages were able to be collected from all 27 EC Member States to assess compliance. Based on this review, 12 of these 27 EC Member States appear to be in compliance with the Directive in this respect,33 while 15 of 27 are not in compliance because packages
indicate that the warning has been included in the space for the warning, instead of in addition to the warning.34 A limitation of this is that the assessment is based on the packaging material received, and not a comprehensive examination of all brands sold on the
market in each country.

In the EC, 7 of 27 Member States have finalized requirements for picture warnings.

OTHER COUNTRIES

The following countries are not listed in this report:
Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Azerbaijan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu.

cigarettes warning internationalcigarettes international

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Physicians for a Smoke-free Canada
www.smoke-free.ca/warnings

Tobacco Labelling Resource Centre
www.tobaccolabels.org

WHO Warnings Database
www.who.int/tobacco/healthwarningsdatabase/en/index.html

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
http://tobaccofreecenter.org/resources/warning_labels

Campaign for Effective Health Warnings on Cigarette Packs
http://blogsofbainbridge.typepad.com/warnings

FCTC Guidelines for Article 11 (packaging and labelling)
www.who.int/fctc/guidelines/article_11/en/index.html

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