WHO FCTC Health Warnings Database
Article 11 of the WHO FCTC requires Parties to the Convention to implement large, rotating health warnings on all tobacco product packaging and labelling. Guidelines for Article 11 of the WHO FCTC recommend that Parties should mandate full colour pictures or pictograms, in their packaging and labelling requirements. This website, which was developed following a decision by the Conference of the Parties to the WHO FCTC at its third session, is designed to facilitate the sharing of such pictorial health warnings and messages among countries and Parties, and will continue to be updated on a regular basis as countries and Parties provide these images.
Theme of World-No-Tobacco Day 2009
The WHO selects "Tobacco Health Warnings" as the theme for the next World No Tobacco Day, which will take place on 31 May 2009.
Tobacco health warnings appear on packs of cigarettes and are among the strongest defenses against the global epidemic of tobacco.
WHO particularly approves of tobacco health warnings that contain both pictures and words because they are the most effective at convincing people to quit. Such pictorial warnings appear in more than a dozen countries.
On World No Tobacco Day 2009, and throughout the following year, WHO will encourage governments to adopt tobacco health warnings that meet all the criteria for maximal effectiveness, including that they cover more than half of the pack, appear on both the front and back of the pack and contain pictures.
Please return soon to this website for a richer explanation of why the WHO chose "Tobacco Health Warnings" as the theme for WNTD 2009 and about what the warnings - pictorial ones in particular - can do to fight tobacco.
SCENIHR opinion on smokeless tobacco products
In its 22nd plenary meeting on 6 February 2008 the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) adopted its opinion on smokeless tobacco products, concluding that they are addictive and hazardous to health. Furthermore, the Committee examined the role of these products in smoking initiation and cessation, as well as the possibility to extrapolate the experience and use patterns from countries permitting the use of oral tobacco to other EU Member States, where this use is currently banned. According to the opinion, which was published on 18 February 2008 after a public consultation, smokeless tobacco is addictive and withdrawal symptoms are broadly similar to those seen in smokers. Smokeless tobacco products contain various levels of toxic substances and these products are carcinogenic to humans. The Committee also stated that on the available evidence it is not possible to draw conclusions as to the relative effectiveness of smokeless tobacco as an aid to smoking cessation in comparison with established therapies.
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Consultation Paper on the structure and rates of excise duty applied on cigarettes and other manufactured tobacco
The European Commission DG Taxation and Customs Union has requested comments on the Consultation Paper on the structure and rates of excise duty applied on cigarettes and other manufactured tobacco by 1 July 2007.
A joint ECL/ENSP contribution was made on 25 June 2007.
Commission Proposal for Modernisation of the Television without Frontiers Directive
The Television without Frontiers Directive intends to revise the advertising framework and comply with technological developments, i.a. Hence, there is a provision of measures on advertising of tobacco, alcohol, medicinal products, as well as regarding the protection of minors. All forms of advertising and teleshopping for cigarettes and tobacco products are prohibited. However, product placement is allowed provided that the broadcaster clearly indicates at the start of the programme that viewers are likely to watch product placements.