Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

Labelling and packaging (including health warnings)

According to data presented by the World Bank (1) people's knowledge about the health risks of smoking appears to be partial specially in low- and middle-income countries. Cigarette packs have been used for long to promote and market cigarettes through brand names, colours and design. Tobacco companies have also used misleading messages on cigarette packs to give a false sense of safety to smokers.(2). Considering this, tobacco product packages could function as an important vehicle for information about the risks of tobacco consumption to dissuade people from consuming it. A variety of legislation on health warnings is found in different countries with respect to the size, content, coverage area on the pack, etc. Recently some countries have also introduced pictures in the warnings to support the text message.

1.World Bank, Curbing the epidemic. Governments and the Economics of tobacco control, Washington DC 1999
2. Kozlowski LT and PilliteriJlBeliefs about "light" and "ultra light" cigarettes and efforts to change those beliefs: an overview of early efforts and publishe research. Tobacco Control an International Journal.2002 10 supp1 4-11

Experiences of, Poland and in the area of labelling and packaging will be released soon.