WHO global health days

Key public messages

World No Tobacco Day, 31 May 2016

1. Plain packaging is an evidence based measure that can save lives and protect public health

It reduces the attractiveness of tobacco products.

It restricts use of tobacco packaging as a form of tobacco advertising and promotion.

It limits misleading packaging and labelling.

It increasing the effectiveness of health warnings.

2. Globalization of plain packaging is underway as governments around the world seek to embrace this measure

3. Plain packaging is part of a comprehensive approach to tobacco control

Plain packaging is part of a comprehensive approach to tobacco control that includes comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship and other packaging and labelling measures, such as large graphic health warnings.

4. Tobacco companies have fought plain packaging with a massive misinformation campaign since as far back as 1993

Internal industry documents show a coordinated industry response designed to resist plain packaging for fear that it will reduce demand.

Today, the industry makes baseless claims that plain packaging is not effective, will increase illicit trade, push prices down and hurt retailers. These claims are not supported by the evidence.

5. Tobacco control is an essential part of sustainable development

The Sustainable Development Goals call for accelerated implementation of the WHO FCTC.

Tobacco use has negative implications for economic development as it diverts household expenditure from food, health-care and education.

Tobacco use also results in substantial economic costs in terms of health expenditure and lost productivity.

The economic impacts of tobacco use are most acute in developing countries.

Increasing taxes on tobacco has been identified as a source for domestic public financing of SDG goals.

More information

Get ready for plain packaging