The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

Nepal tobacco package warnings lead Asia

A volunteer from Nepal's Resource Centre for Primary Health Care (RECPHEC) attempts to educate a smoker in Lalitpur city about the country's new tobacco control law. © RECPHEC

Nepal now has some of the largest graphic warnings on tobacco packages in the world, including on smokeless tobacco packages.

The government of the South Asian country passed its tobacco control legislation in May 2011. It includes a ban on smoking in public places and graphic warnings covering 75 per cent of each side of cigarette packages and the packages of other tobacco products.

The other products include gutkha ( a sweetened mixture of chewing tobacco, betel nut and palm nut), khaini (chewing tobacco) and surti (tobacco leaves). 

TC advocates in Bangladesh campaign for graphic warnings

Visitors look at graphic warnings for tobacco packages during the exhibition in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka. (c) Iqbal Masud.

Tobacco control advocates in Bangladesh recently organised a three-day campaign to advocate for graphic warnings on tobacco packages. The event culminated in pledges from government ministers to support proposed amendments to the current tobacco control law.

The campaign included an exhibition of warning labels from various countries, a press conference, a rally, and three seminars on various aspects of pack warnings. Each seminar was attended by a cabinet minister or state minister and members of Parliament.

The exhibition was inaugurated by the Industry Minister, who gave his complete support to the proposed amendments to the law. This was widely reported in the media.

Gulf nations agree graphic warnings for 2012

Member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have agreed to put graphic warnings on tobacco packages starting in August 2012.
The law to be enforced by the six-nation GCC (United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman) includes graphic warnings on boxes of tobacco used in hookah pipes and other smoking tools.

MPs pass Australia's plain packaging bill

An example of Australia's proposed plain packaging. Copyright Government of Australia.

Australian MPs on Wednesday approved legislation that would require plain packaging on tobacco products by 2012. The bill now goes to the Senate for reading. 

The legislation, the first of its kind in the world, forbids branding, logos, symbols and images on packaging and on cigarettes.

The bill and an explanatory memorandum acknowledge Australia's obligations as a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

US releases graphic package warnings

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on 21 June announced the final nine picture-based warnings that will appear on the top 50 per cent of the front and back of cigarette packages.

The warnings include a toll-free quit line number. As of 22 Sept. 2012, manufacturers will not be able to manufacture cigarettes without the new warnings on packaging, and as of 22 Oct. 2012, manufacturers will not be able to distribute cigarettes without the new warnings on packaging.

Bolivia set for pictorial warnings

Two of the seven new pictorial warnings for Bolivia.

Two ofthe seven new warnings for Bolivia (c) Bolivian gvt 

The Bolivian Government has announced that cigarette packages sold in Bolivia will have pictorial warnings by December 2011.

The warnings will cover 50 per cent of both the front and back of packages.

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.

Report on pack warning labels translated

The Canadian Cancer Society's Updated report on pack warning labels is now available in Arabic, Chinese, French and Portuguese. Versions in English, French and Spanish were previously available.

The report summarises international cigarette package health warning requirements by country/jurisdiction, including both Parties and Non-Parties to the WHO FCTC. The report is an update of a 2008 report which ranked 140 countries based on the size of the warnings on cigarette packages.

The 2010 report ranks 175 countries/jurisdictions based on warning size, and lists countries/jurisdictions that require picture-based warnings.

Read previous FCA article on the report here

Health Canda releases tobacco package warnings

On 18 February, Health Canada released the full set of 16 exterior warnings, 8 interior messages, as well as 4 toxic emission messages for the side panel. 

These can now all be in seen on Health Canada's website: