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NEWS packaging and labelling

  • Uruguay set to become a world leader for restricting tobacco branding as plain packaging bill reaches Congress

    This week Uruguay’s government submitted a bill for plain tobacco packaging to Congress. Once passed, the country will have the world’s most comprehensive set of restrictions on tobacco branding, and its associated marketing benefits. The tobacco industry are already limited by the ‘single presentation’ regulation – which means tobacco companies can only sell one variant within its brand family.

  • Georgia pushes ahead with significant upgrade to national tobacco control programme

    Georgia’s Parliament hosted a high-level event on World No Tobacco Day to mark the recent advance of national laws that will reduce tobacco use and protect and promote the health and economic well-being of the Georgian people.

  • New graphic health warnings for Cambodia

    Pictorial warnings covering 55 percent of the front and back of tobacco packs are now mandatory in Cambodia, despite resistance and delay tactics from the tobacco industry. The legislation came into force on July 22.

  • Myanmar: Minister of Health and Sports commits to accelerating tobacco control

    Myanmar’s Minister of Health and Sports committed to significant advances in the national tobacco control strategy during a recent meeting with The Union: increasing tobacco taxes, ensuring effective implementation of smoke-free, and regulation of smokeless tobacco products. Dr Myint Htwe also confirmed that 75 percent graphic health warnings on tobacco packaging will come into force in September this year, with a view to introducing plain packaging in the future.

  • Globally significant legal victory for public health: Uruguay wins big against Philip Morris

    Uruguay has won the six-year legal battle launched by Philip Morris International (PMI) in 2010 before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) – one of the world’s smallest countries claiming a significant victory over one of the world’s largest corporations.

  • World No Tobacco Day 2016: Policy announcements and events across the globe

    The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2016 (WNTD) was ‘Get Ready for Plain Packaging’. The Union joined international calls for countries to introduce plain tobacco packaging to encourage users to quit and discourage non-users from trying addictive nicotine products. Further, The Union called for a ‘plain packaging’ approach to e-cigarettes – this burgeoning industry is increasingly owned by tobacco companies renowned for targeting children with powerful marketing campaigns.

  • Executive Director's statement on World No Tobacco Day: Get ready for plain packaging

    In support of World No Tobacco Day, 31 May, The Union calls on governments around the world to prepare to introduce plain packaging – eliminating one of the last marketing platforms available to the tobacco industry.

  • World No Tobacco Day: Plain packaging for e-cigarettes?

    This World No Tobacco Day, The Union joins international calls for countries to introduce plain tobacco packaging to encourage users to quit and discourage non-users from trying addictive nicotine products. Further, The Union calls for a ‘plain packaging’ approach to e-cigarettes – this burgeoning industry is increasingly owned by tobacco companies renowned for targeting children with powerful marketing campaigns.

  • UK high court rules in favour of plain tobacco packaging – a win for global public health

    The tobacco industry has suffered another crushing defeat after losing a UK high court battle on the standardised packaging rules due to come into force today (20 May 2016). Plain packs will be the same shape, size and drab brown colour, displaying graphic health warnings across 65 percent of the front and back surfaces and with written warnings down each side. Branding is banned.

  • 85 percent graphic health warnings now compulsory on tobacco packaging in India

    After a two-year battle, a ground-breaking development for public health has seen graphic health warnings on tobacco packaging in India quadruple in size. Harrowing images of the health consequences of tobacco use must now be displayed across 85 percent of the surface area of all tobacco packets -- a measure proven to help users quit and prevent others taking up the habit.

  • Strong graphic health warnings now compulsory on tobacco packaging in Myanmar

    The health risks of tobacco use must now be graphically displayed across 75 percent of the front and back of all tobacco packages in Myanmar, after new legislation was announced by the Ministry of Health [MoH] today. The new packaging will feature images of the health consequences of tobacco use across 50 percent of the surface area, and text warnings in local language across 25 percent. Old packaging will be illegal from 1 September 2016.

  • World Cancer Day, 4 February 2016: highlighting the danger of waterpipes

    Long popular in Africa, South East Asia and the Middle East, shisha or water pipes are increasingly popular in other regions – despite the risk for cancer that they pose to both smokers and those exposed to second-hand smoke.

  • Nepal implements 90 per cent graphic health warnings on tobacco packs, strictest in the world

    Tobacco packs in Nepal now have 90 per cent of their surface area covered with hard-hitting pictures of the health impacts of tobacco use – the strongest tobacco control measure of its kind in the world. Shelves have been stacked with the new packs since the directive came into force in October.

  • Progress for India’s 85 percent graphic health warnings on tobacco packs – now due April 2016

    India’s Ministry of Health has announced that pictorial health warnings covering 85 percent of the display surface of all tobacco products will now be introduced in April 2016.

  • Tobacco control advocates take Pakistan government to court for reneging on 85% graphic health warnings

    Civil society groups in Pakistan have issued a high court petition to prevent the Ministry of National Health Services Regulation and Coordination from withdrawing life-saving legislation to reduce tobacco use. The new law – which was due to come into force on 31 July – required 85 per cent of the surface area of all tobacco packaging to be covered with harrowing photos of the health consequences of smoking.

  • Indonesia: national survey reveals impact of graphic health warnings

    Results of a national survey carried out over the last year in 18 Indonesian cities, reveals strong support for the graphic health warnings that now cover 40% of the surface area of all tobacco packaging.

    90% of the 5,409 respondents said that the size of the warnings should be increased to cover 90% of the package surface area. And 84% of respondents said the warning images made them concerned about the dangers of smoking.

    The survey was carried out by 20 institutions, including The Union. The results were released on Wednesday 29 April.

    Indonesia legislated for graphic health warnings on tobacco products last year, despite being one of the few countries who have not yet ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Graphic health warnings are proven to encourage smokers to quit and discourage others from starting.

  • Chad - Africa's strongest graphic health warnings

    Chad has passed a new law requiring all tobacco packaging to carry graphic health warnings across 70% of the surface area. When it comes into force in nine months, Chad will have the strongest GHW law in Africa. The Union provided technical and financial support for this project.

  • 90% graphic health warnings now required on tobacco packs in Nepal

    One of the world's smallest countries, Nepal, has taken a large step toward combating tobacco-related disease this week. Ninety percent of the surface area of all tobacco packaging must now be covered with harrowing images designed to warn consumers of the health consequences of tobacco use. The new law is the most stringent of any country, surpassing that passed by India three weeks ago, which requires 85% coverage.

  • India quadruples the size of graphic health warnings on tobacco packs

    Tobacco packaging in India will display graphic health warnings across 85 percent of display surfaces, thanks to new measures announced by Dr Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Health, on 15 October.

  • ‘Tobacco control is a top public health issue,’ says India’s Minister of Health and Family Welfare

    Dr Harsh Vardhan, India’s Minister of Health and Family Welfare, prioritised meeting with The Union’s tobacco control department during his visit to the World Conference on Lung Health in Barcelona, saying the tobacco epidemic was a prime public health concern.

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