Oct 15 2014

Cigarette package warnings from around the world

Published by at 10:09 am under Tobacco news

Cigarettes are bad for you. Everyone knows that. But a growing number of countries around the world are trying to smack smokers in the face with the cold, harsh, reality of smoking.

Cigarette warning labels around the world

Cigarette packages are increasingly regulated, with more space than ever devoted to warnings, graphics and advice to quit. In some countries, logos aren’t even permitted on cigarette packages anymore. The full breakdown comes in a new report from the Canadian Cancer Society released Tuesday morning.

“There has been tremendous progress internationally in implementing package warnings,” the organization says. “The worldwide trend for larger, picture health warnings is growing and unstoppable, with many more countries in the process of developing such requirements.”

The biggest trend is for warnings to take up more of the package than ever. Thailand is leading the world in that regard, where warnings must take up 85 per cent of the front of a cigarette package and 90% of the back of a package. Australia comes in a close second where warnings must take up 82.5 per cent of a package.

Canada is fourth in the world at 75 per cent, which is high compared to our closest trade partners. The United Kingdom sits at 61st place in the world and the United States is tied for last place at 144th as the 50 per cent label requirement set out by the FDA is still going through government approval after lengthy litigation by tobacco companies.

By 2015, 77 countries will have laws requiring graphic photo warnings on cigarette packages.

“A pictures says a thousand words,” The Canadian Cancer Society said in their report. “Pictures can convey a message with far more impact than can a text-only message.”

The world report is keeping with guidelines established by the World Health Organization specifically to keep tabs on tobacco and its related illnesses, similar to how the United Nations also tracks illegal drugs.

The World Health Organization’s international tobacco treaty asks that signatories mandate that 50 per cent or more of a cigarette package be dedicated to warnings.

Meanwhile, several countries have also implemented plain packaging laws that prevent companies from using flashy logos or designs to entice consumers to their product. Click on Australia in the interactive above for a look at the effects of that law. Ireland, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, France, Finland and the European Union governments are all looking at similar legislation.
By William Wolfe-Wylie, O.canada.com


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