Hungary – New decree on combined warnings and ban on smoking in all public places

On 26 December 2011, a Government decree on the introduction of combined text and picture health warnings was published in the National Gazette. The decree, which entered into force on 1 January 2012, requires all tobacco products manufactured after 1 September 2012 to carry the combined warnings. From 1 January 2013, only tobacco products packaged and labelled in this way can be sold on the territory of Hungary. Details of brand, manufacturer, country of origin and the number of pieces or weight must be provided on packaging. In the case of cigarettes, the tar, nicotine and carbon-monoxide content of the smoke produced during burning of the cigarettes must also be included.

The pictures, which were taken from the EU health warning library, and which must be rotated, were also published in the Gazette. Health warnings and messages must not be obstructed by other markings. The use of any text, name, brand name, pictorial or any other sign creating the impression that a particular tobacco product is less harmful than others is forbidden.

On 1 January 2012, a complete ban on smoking in all working and public places entered into force, including in bars and restaurants, as required by the amendment of the 1999 tobacco control act that was adopted by the Hungarian Parliament on 26 April 2011. A public information campaign was also launched to inform the public about the introduction of the new legislation on smoke-free environments.

More information is available from Tibor Demjén, tobacco control focal point, National Institute for Health Development (nihptohp@c3.hu).

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