Mexico finalizes pictorial warnings

Jan 19, 2010

General Messages
by Mr. Rob Cunningham

Mexico has finalized requirements for a series of 8 pictorial warnings to appear on cigarette packages.
A picture-based message will appear on the top 30% of the front of the package, and will be accompanied by a text-only message (yellow text on a black background) that will cover 100% of the back.

As an average of the front and back, Mexico will be tied for the second largest package warnings in the world at 65% (30% front, 100% back). Uruguay has the lead at 80% (80% front, 80% back), followed by Mauritius at 65% (60% front, 70% back).

As a percentage of the front, however, at 30%, this is smaller than many countries. Having said that, Mexico is improving in terms of size on the approach found in Brazil and Venezuela, where warnings are required on 100% of one side (either front or back). So instead of having 100% of one side, Mexico will have 30% of front (pictures) and 100% of back (text only).

Mexico will also require one of a series of 8 text messages (yellow text on a black background) to cover 100% of one of the side panels. Each of the 8 side panel messages is to appear at the same time as particular specified messages on the front and back (there are 8 sets of front/back/side panel messages).

Mexico may well be the second country after Djibouti to require a rotating series of messages on side panels, in addition to rotating messages on the front and/or back. Djibouti finalized requirements in 2008, and messages are now appearing on packages available in Djibouti stores.

The new Mexico warnings will be effective September 24, 2010 (nine months after publication in the Official Journal, which occurred on December 24, 2009). To view the “Acuerdo” of the Secretary of Health, visit:

Acuerdo of December 24, 2009:…
To obtain Word version, go to the Official Journal (Diario Oficial de la Federacion) for Dec. 24, 2009, and you will see it under Secretaria de Salud (note: this Word document also contains a second document with a title that begins “Convenio Especifico …” that has nothing to do with tobacco).…

Also, you can get information by going to the following websites and going to “Mexico”: