The government has canceled the current regulations on cigarette pack labeling. Starting from January 2024, warnings about the dangers of smoking will occupy 65% of the pack area
The Government has adopted a resolution abolishing the current regulations on the labeling of cigarette and tobacco products in order to fully implement the new regulations, which will come into force on 11 January 2024. The resolution allows to complete the implementation of the European Commission Directive 40/2014, which updates the labeling of packs.
It is about placing updated graphic and textual images of health warnings on cigarette packages. Such warnings are in place in 42 countries and have proven to be effective in the fight against tobacco use. In May, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine approved 14 sets (variants of text and illustrations) of health warnings developed by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, as well as technical requirements for the design and form of labeling and the procedure for applying warnings by tobacco manufacturers. The new labeling will come into force on 11 January 2024.
The adoption of the comprehensive anti-tobacco law No. 1978 in December 2021 is in line with Ukraine’s European integration policy in the healthcare sector. The law came into force on July 11, 2023. Its provisions are based on the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and implement the provisions of Directive 2014/40/EU, which has reduced the prevalence of smoking in the European Union.
The main provisions of Directive 2014/40/EU, which this Law implements:
- prohibition of flavored cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco (effective July 11, 2023);
- more visible warnings about the dangers of smoking on cigarette packs – their size will increase to 65% of the pack area (starting in 2024);
- requirement to provide the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection with information on ingredients contained in tobacco products (effective 1 June 2022);
- introduction of consumer health warnings on e-cigarettes and e-liquids, packaging requirements for e-cigarettes, refill containers and e-liquids used in e-cigarettes, consumer health warnings and packaging requirements for herbal smoking products, and consumer health warnings for smokeless tobacco products (effective 1 June 2022);
- complete ban on advertising and promotion of tobacco consumption devices, e-cigarettes, and tobacco products (effective 11 July 2023).
Labeling of tobacco products is one of the most effective components of tobacco control. Despite the fact that most forms of tobacco advertising have been banned in Ukraine since 2012, the regulation on the display of products at points of sale remained unregulated. This created a risk that children and adolescents might be more likely to take up smoking under the influence of advertising. In addition, advertising of vapes and e-cigarettes was not regulated.
The mock-ups of what the health warnings will look like on cigarette packs starting from 11 January 2024 are available here.