Picture health warnings required by 35 countries/jurisdictions

The fifth anniversary of the coming into force of the FCTC will take place on Feb. 27, 2010.  For package warnings, the FCTC has been a pivotal factor in helping to spur improvements worldwide.  When the FCTC was approved in May 2003, only 2 countries (Canada, Brazil) had required picture warnings, and by the end of 2005 only three more (Singapore, Thailand, Venezuela) had picture warnings required to appear on packages.

Now, at least 35 countries/jurisdictions have finalized laws to require picture-based health warnings for cigarette packages. In some of these cases, although the law/regulation/decree has received final adoption, a transition period has not yet been completed.

These 35 countries/jurisdictions are listed in the attached (2 page) Word and pdf documents, and are also listed in the body of this email. Also included are rankings of the countries with the largest-sized health warnings, in terms of the package front, and in terms of an average of the front and back. The largest size is in Uruguay where warnings cover 80% of the package front and back.

 

Several countries are now on their second, or third round of picture warnings, if not more.
Many, many other countries are in the process of implementing larger, picture-based warnings. Progress worldwide is accelerating, and is very encouraging.

Given how quickly developments have been happening, it is very likely that some other countries could be added to the listings for pictures/size.  If anyone has further information, it would be appreciated if you could send it to me, including if possible copies of (or links to) legislation/regulations.

Four helpful websites with information on picture-based package warnings, including showing the images required by different countries, are as follows:

Tobacco Labelling Resource Centre:
www.tobaccolabels.org

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
http://tobaccofreecenter.org/resources/warning_labels
Physicians for a Smoke-free Canada:
www.smoke-free.ca/warnings 
Campaign for Effective Health Warnings on Cigarette Packs
http://blogsofbainbridge.typepad.com/warnings/

Cigarette Package Warning Size and Use of Pictures: International Summary

Picture warnings

At least 35 countries/jurisdictions have finalized requirements for picture warnings.  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; 2009a; 2009b; 2010)

    9.      Panama (2006; 2009)

    10.     Belgium (2006)

    11.     Chile (2006; 2007; 2008; 2009)

    12.     Hong Kong (2007)

    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)1

    19.     Iran (2009)

    20.     Malaysia (2009)

    21.     Taiwan (2009)

    22.     Peru (2009)

    23.     Djibouti (2009)

    24.     Mauritius (2009)

    25.     India (2009)

    26.     Cayman Islands (2009)

    27.     Paraguay (2010; 2011; 2012)2

    28.     Latvia (2010)

    29.     Pakistan (2010)

    30.     Switzerland (2010;

    rotation of Sets 1, 2, 3 every 24 months)

    31.     Colombia (2010)

    32.     Turkey (2010)

    33.     Mexico (2010)

    34.     Norway (2011)

    35.     Malta (2011)

Many other countries/jurisdictions are in the process of doing so, or have stated that picture warnings are under consideration, including Bangladesh, France, Guyana, Iceland, Ireland, Macao, Mongolia, Philippines, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Vietnam, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and potentially Yemen), and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM, which includes Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize,  Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia,  St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago).

Ranking of Countries/Jurisdictions for Largest-Sized Cigarette Package Warnings

Note: in the first column, the two numbers in parentheses indicate the size on the front of the cigarette package followed by the size on the back of the package.

Size – Average of Front and Back
80%   Uruguay (80% of front and back)

65%   Mauritius (60% of front, 70% of back)

65%   Mexico (30%, 100%)

60%   Paraguay (60%, 60%)2

60%   Australia (30%, 90%)

60%   New Zealand (30%, 90%)

60%   Cook Islands (30%, 90%)

56%   Belgium (48%, 63%, including border)

56%   Switzerland (48%, 63%, including border)

55%   Thailand (55%, 55%)

52%   Finland (45%, 58%, including border)

52%   Ireland (45%, 58%, including border)

50%   Brunei (50%, 50%)

50%   Canada (50%, 50%)

50%   Chile (50%, 50%)

50%   Djibouti (50%, 50%)

50%   Egypt (50%, 50%)

50%   Hong Kong (50%, 50%)

50%   Iran (50%, 50%)

50%   Panama (50%, 50%)

50%   Singapore (50%, 50%)

50%   Albania (50%, 50%)

50%   Bolivia (50%, 50%)

50%   Cameroon (50%, 50%)

50%   Eritrea (50%, 50%)

50%   Madagascar (50%, 50%)

50%   Malaysia (40%, 60%)

50%   Brazil (100% of either front or back)

50%   Venezuela (100% of either front or back)

48%   unilingual EC countries (e.g. United Kingdom) that have

          properly implemented the EC Directive (43% of front, 53% of

          back, including border)

48%   Norway (43%, 53%, including border)

48%   Iceland (43%, 53%, including border)

Pending:
50%   United States (50%, 50%)

Size – Front of Package
80%   Uruguay  
65%   Turkey
60%   Mauritius
60%   Paraguay2
55%   Thailand
50%   Brunei
50%   Canada
50%   Chile
50%   Djibouti
50%   Egypt
50%   Hong Kong
50%   Iran
50%   Madagascar
50%   Panama
50%   Singapore
50%   Albania
50%   Bolivia
50%   Cameroon
50%   Eritrea
48%   Belgium
48%   Switzerland
45%   Finland

Notes
1 Cook Islands: Warnings are to either comply with the Australian or New Zealand requirements (which include pictures), or to require 50% text warnings with specified messages in English and in Cook Islands Maori.  In practice, packages contain pictures as required in Australia/New Zealand.

2 Paraguay: size will be 50%/40% in 2010, 50%/50% in 2011, and 60%/60% with yellow background in 2012.

<> <>

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply