Madagascar: Picture warnings for 2012

Feb 2, 2012

Madagascar has become the third country in Africa and at least the 46th country/jurisdiction in the world to require picture-based health warnings for packages of cigarettes.

In Madagascar, on Sept. 30, 2011, Interministerial Decision Nº 28.540/2011 was approved to require picture health warnings to appear on packages of cigarettes and some other tobacco products.  For cigarettes and some other tobacco products, warnings will be required to cover 65% of the front and back of the package, with the picture on the front and a message using text on the back.

There is to be a 3mm black border around the required messages, and which is to be in addition to the space for the messages.  This means that with proper implementation the size of the warning including the border will exceed 75% of the front and back of the package.

There will be two sets of four warnings.  The first set of warnings is to appear for 12 months, and then is to be replaced by the second set.

The text of the warnings will be in Malagasy.

Madagascar joins Djibouti and Mauritius as African countries that have required picture warnings.  In terms of the WHO AFRO Region, only Mauritius and Madagascar have so far required picture warnings (Djibouti is in the Eastern Mediterranean Region).

The Madagascar warnings are to appear on packages 180 days after the Interministerial Decision is published in the Official Journal, which should be about April 2012.

Terms such as “light”, “ultra-light”, “mild” and “flavoured” in Malagasy or in any other language are prohibited on packages of tobacco products.

Cigarette cases are prohibited.

To view the Interministerial Decision (which includes the picture images to be required) and the related Decree approved December 14, 2010 (which enables the Interministerial Decision), visit:http://tobaccolabels.ca/healthwarningimages/country/madagascar

The Interministerial Decision and the Decree are in French.

The full title of the Interministerial Decision is:

ARRETË INTERMINISTERIEL Nº 28.540/2011 Fixant les modalités d’application du décret nº2010-1008 du 14 décembre 2010 portant conditionnement et étiquetage des produits du tabac en vente à Madagascar