Spain to require picture warnings

Aug 4, 2010

Spain has finalized requirements for pictorial warnings on cigarette packages effective May 26, 2011, twelve months after publication in the offficial bulletin.

Spain becomes the seventh EU country to require pictorial warnings, joining Belgium (2006), Romania (2008), UK (2008), Latvia (2010), France (2011) and Malta (2011).  Some non-EU countries (Switzerland, Norway and Turkey) have also required pictorial warnings based on images taken from the European Commission library of 42 images.  Worldwide, at least 39 countries/jurisdictions have required picture warnings.

Spain’s Royal Decree 639/2010 was approved on May 14, 2010 and published in the official bulletin (Boletin Oficial del Estado) on May 26, 2010.  A correction modifying one of the required images was published in the official bulletin on June 3, 2010.

Other tobacco products covered by the new requirements for picture warnings (e.g. roll-your-own tobacco) will have 24 months to comply, until May 26, 2012.

In adopting the new decree, Spain has specified that the 3-4mm border surrounding the warning is to be in addition to the space for the warning, and therefore in compliance with the EU Directive.  Thus the effective space used (including the border) will be about 43% of the front and 53% of the back, whereas previously warnings have appeared in Spain on 30% of the front and 40% of the back (including the border).


Source: Royal Decree (Spanish) (May 26, 2010)