Australia now has the largest graphic health warnings in the world

Last December, the Australian Government released the new standard which updates and expands the graphic health warning regime in Australia.  Health warnings will now be required to cover 75% of the front of packs and 90% of the back of packs (for cigarettes, slightly different for other packaging formats).  A new set of 14 health warnings for cigarette packaging and new warnings for other tobacco products, including single sale cigars, were also included in the new standard.

The Government undertook extensive research to inform the new warnings and this research, along with the research for plain packaging, can be found at:

 The standard which contains the updated warnings are under a different piece of legislation to plain packaging – see links and a copy of the media release below.

Competition and Consumer (Tobacco) Information Standard 2011


 David Bradbury MP

Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer

Media Release


The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, David Bradbury, today announced that the

Government has updated and expanded the graphic health warnings for tobacco products.


“Today the Competition and Consumer (Tobacco) Information Standard 2011 (the Standard) was

made. The Standard updates and expands the graphic health warnings that are currently

required to be displayed on most tobacco packaging,” said Mr Bradbury.


“The Standard will apply to all tobacco products supplied in Australia in retail packaging. All

tobacco products are harmful to health. Accordingly, health warnings are being applied to convey

a consistent public health message about the risks associated with tobacco use.”


“The Standard forms an important part of a comprehensive package of measures that were

announced by the Government in April last year to target tobacco use and its harmful effects,”

Mr Bradbury added.


The updated and expanded health warnings in the Standard are based on consumer research, an

evaluation of the current health warnings, and public consultations which took place between

September 2011 and December 2011.


The Standard was made under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 with the support of the

Legislative and Governance Forum on Consumer Affairs (CAF). CAF is comprised of

Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers responsible for consumer affairs and consumer

protection laws.


The Standard will commence on 1 January 2012. Transitional arrangements will allow for an

orderly transition to the updated health warnings. Between 1 January 2012 and 30 November

2012, tobacco products that are subject to the current health warnings – under the Trade

Practices (Consumer Product Information Standards) (Tobacco) Regulations 2004 – can either

continue to comply with these current requirements or they can comply with the updated

requirements under the Standard.


On 1 December 2012, the current health warnings will be replaced with the updated warnings in

the Standard. From 1 December 2012, all tobacco products supplied in Australia in retail

packaging must display the updated health warnings under the Standard.


The implementation timeframes for the Standard are aligned with the timeframes under the

Government’s Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011.

23 December 2011

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