Oman adopts plain packaging for tobacco products

24 April 2024

By Muscat Daily

Muscat – Represented by the National Tobacco Control Committee, the sultanate has introduced plain packaging for tobacco products, becoming the second Arab country after Saudi Arabia to enforce this measure.

This initiative places Oman among 22 countries worldwide that have implemented plain packaging as a strategy to combat tobacco use.

In March 2023, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion issued the Omani Standard Specification (OS 1655:2022) for plain packaging of tobacco products, which became binding and took effect from April 4, 2024.

Plain packaging is defined by World Health Organization (WHO) as a measure that restricts the use of logos, colours, brand images or promotional information on tobacco packaging.

According to the measure, only the brand and product name are allowed, displayed in a standard colour and font type. This initiative follows the guidelines of Article 11 and 13 of WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, ratified by Oman in 2005 through Royal Decree 20/2005.

The main objectives of plain packaging are to reduce attractiveness of tobacco products, prevent packaging from being used as a form of advertising and promotion, and eliminate misleading packaging that might suggest certain products are less harmful than others.

Additionally, plain packaging aims to make health warnings more prominent and effective on tobacco product packaging.