The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

Ukraine to have picture warnings in 2012

This picture accompanies a Ukraine cigarette warning that says: "Smoking causes nicotine addiction. Do not start smoking. (c) ECThe Ukraine will have picture warnings on all cigarette packages by October next year, according to a law adopted on 4 April.

This is a great win for the region, and a crucial step in the country’s tobacco control process. The next step, according to the chairman of the tobacco control organisation Regional Advocacy Center "LIFE" Andriy Skipalskyi, is for the Ukraine government to ban all forms of tobacco industry advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

Background to adoption of picture warnings

In 2009 the Ukraine government adopted a law that required picture-based warnings on 50 per cent of the principal display space of tobacco products. On 4 April 2011 the regulation to put this law into effect was adopted, and the warnings will be required on tobacco products as of 4 October 2012.

Currently, the Ukraine has text warnings that cover 30 per cent of cigarette packages front and back, but under the new law all packaging will have picture warnings covering 50 per cent of the back and a Smoking Kills text warning that covers 50 per cent of the front.

The warnings are part of a series of 10 images chosen from the European Commission’s library of cigarette warnings.

Warnings boost Ukraine and regional tobacco control efforts

Skipalskyi said the picture warnings would provide another way of helping discourage people in the Ukraine from smoking. “Already about 11 million Ukrainians smoke, so this measure is very necessary.”

“The Ukraine government has also taken the next step in fulfilling the guidelines of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, proving that it’s serious about fighting the tobacco epidemic.”

According to Skipalskyi, this move provides a turning point for the region and an example for the Ukraine’s neighbours to follow, such as Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Moldova.

Thank you to petition signers

Skipalskyi also thanks everyone who signed the petition calling on the Ukraine government to support the pictorial warnings. He says the signatures played an important role in providing public pressure on the government to adopt the warnings.

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