Yearly Archives: 2009

Australian Government Taskforce Recommends “Plain Packaging”

Sept 11, 2009

The Australian Government’s Preventative Health Taskforce’s ‘National Preventative Health Strategy’ was released on Tuesday 1st September and contains recommendations on tobacco, alcohol and obesity. The report identified, further regulations on packaging among its key recommendations including action to”Eliminate promotion of tobacco products through design of packaging.” The report recommends “plain packaging,” as described below:

“…there can be no justification for allowing any form of promotion for this uniquely dangerous and addictive product which it is illegal to sell to children. ‘Plain packaging’ entails prohibiting brand imagery, colours, corporate logos and trademarks, and permitting manufacturers only to print the brand name in a mandated size, font and place, in addition to required health warnings and other legally mandated product information such as toxic constituents, tax-paid seals or package contents. A standard cardboard texture would be mandatory, and the size and shape of the package and cellophane wrapper would also be prescribed.”

The National Preventative Health Strategy provides a blueprint for tackling the burden of chronic disease currently caused by obesity, tobacco, and excessive consumption of alcohol. The Strategy’s recommendations are directed at primary prevention and will address all relevant arms of policy and all available points of leverage, in both the health and non-health sectors.

Full Article: Australian Government Department of Health and Aging (September 1, 2009)

Tobacco Act in South Africa & Pictorial Warnings

Sept 2, 2009

Two pieces of legislation that dramatically increase smoking fines and crack down on tobacco companies have been signed into law, the National Council Against Smoking said on Monday.

The acts also make it illegal for adults to smoke in a car where there is a child under 12, and pave the way for picture warnings such as diseased lungs on cigarette packs…

Full article: (August 31, 2009)

US packs to carry stronger warnings

Aug 5, 2009

Coming soon to the lives of American smokers: cigarette labels that go far beyond a simple warning.

Imagine gruesome color photographs showing a mouth riddled with cancer, lungs blackened, a foot rotten with gangrene. If the images sound sickening, well, that’s the point…

Full article: The Washington Post (August 4, 2009)

US FDA Bill includes health warning and packaging regulations

Aug 5, 2009

President Obama signed a new legislation on June 22, 2009 granting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate tobacco products(click here to download a copy of the bill passed by the US Senate). The law includes a wide range of measures, including more comprehensive marketing restrictions, producttesting and reporting, as well as the tobacco packaging regulations in three main areas:
Health Warnings
The Act requires health warning labels to appear on cigarette and smokeless products, as described below:

* The Act requires 1 of 9 “color graphic” health warnings to cover at least 30% of upper portion of the “front” and “rear” of cigarette packages no later than 24 months after enactment of the Act (p.184). The Secretary also has the authority to: “adjust the format, type size, color graphics, and text of any of the label requirements, or establish the format, type size, and text of any other disclosures required under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, if the Secretary finds that such a change would promote greater public understanding of the risks associated with the use of tobacco products.” (p.185)

* The law also requires one of four health warnings on smokeless tobacco products that would cover 30% of the front and rear, and appear with contrasting background colors. (p.187). The Secretary has the authority to revise the smokeless health warnings, including increases in size to 50% and the use of color graphics if such a change would “promote greater public understanding of the risks associated with the use of smokeless tobacco products.” (p.193-94)

The Act includes the following requirements for the labeling of constituent information on packages:

* The Secretary is given the discretion to determine whether quantitative information in the form of tar and nicotine “yields” should be displayed on packs.
* The Secretary can also prescribe disclosure requirements regarding the level of any cigarette or other tobacco product constituent including any smoke constituent if the Secretary determines that disclosure would be of benefit to the public health, or otherwise would increase consumer awareness of the health consequences of the use of tobacco products.
* Product constituents other than tar and nicotine will not appear on the face of any cigarette. (p.189)

Ban on misleading package information
The Act includes the following requirements with respect to potentially misleading packaging information:

* Unless a product meets the requirements of being a “modified risk” product, the law prohibits labeling that: 1) “represents explicitly or implicitly that the tobacco product presents a lower risk of tobacco-related disease or is less harmful than one or more other tobacco products; 2) contains a reduced level of a substance or presents a reduced exposure to a substance; 3) the tobacco product or its smoke does not contain or is free of a substance; or 4) uses the descriptors ‘light’, ‘mild’,or ‘low’ or similar descriptors. (p.96)


Cambodia prepares for graphic warnings

June 5, 2009

An official decree that would make graphic pictorial warnings mandatory on all cigarette packages is awaiting approval from the Ministry of Health

Graphic health warnings about the health risks associated with smoking will soon be obligatory on every cigarette pack sold in Cambodia to ensure that the kingdom meets its obligations under a World Health Organization treaty, reports The Phom Penh Post quoting government officials and local NGOs said.

Lim Thai Pheang, director of the National Centre for Health Promotion at the Ministry of Health, said an official decree was ready to be implemented, but needed to be officially approved by the minister of health.

According to a 2004 tobacco survey by the National Institute of Statistics at the Ministry of Planning, 54 percent of Cambodian men age 20 and older smoke, compared with 6 percent of women age 20 and over.

Source: Tobacco Reporter

Push to have graphic images in Jamaica

May 22, 2009

THE Jamaica Coalition for Tobacco Control is pushing to have graphic images highlighting the dangers of smoking, displayed on cigarette packages by next January as a way of deterring Jamaicans from lighting up.

Under the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control treaty of which Jamaica is a signatory, tobacco manufacturers will be expected to have the graphics displayed on 50 per cent of the package…

Full Article: Jamaica Observer (May 12, 2009)

Venezuela Announces New Picture Health Warnings

May 21, 2009

The Venezuelan Ministry of Health recently announced 10 new pictorial warnings for cigarette packages. The new warnings must be implemented by July 2009. Images for each of the warnings are available here.

The announcement from the Ministry of Health can be read in Spanish here and the new regulations can be viewed here.

India: Supreme Court clears display of tobacco pictorial warnings

May 19, 2009

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday cleared the display of pictorial warnings on all tobacco product packages, to be implemented with effect from May 31, 2009.

A Bench comprising Justice B.N. Agrawal and Justice G.S. Singhvi did so after perusing the minutes of the meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on the subject following allegations that the law was diluted to favour the tobacco industry…

Full Article: The Hindu (May 7, 2009)

Denmark to use pictures on cigarette packs

April 27, 2009

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, April 24 (UPI) — The Danish Health Ministry plans to add pictures of the effects of smoking to cigarette packs, including images of smoke-blackened lungs and bodies in morgues.

Health Minister Jakob Axel Neilsen told the Metro Xpress newspaper he expects the photographic warnings to be added as part of a national health plan based on prevention to be put into effect next fall…

Full Article: (April 24, 2009)