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Labelling and packaging

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OUR IMPACT: 3.29 billion people in 32 countries through graphic health warnings*

Most smokers are unaware of the specific harms caused by tobacco use and underestimate risks to themselves and others. Smokers have little knowledge about tobacco products' ingredients and have been misled by the so-called 'low-tar' or 'light' product lines of a brand. Instead of quitting smokers may switch to these misleadingly named products. Effective health warnings and disclosure of ingredients and emissions motivate smokers to quit. They also discourage non-smokers from starting smoking.

Key Facts

  • Effective health warnings on tobacco packs encourage smokers to quit and discourage non-smokers from starting.
  • Smokers tend to underestimate the health risks of tobacco use.
  • Effective health warnings include large shocking pictures and strong clear language.
  • Health warnings can be implemented at minimal cost to the government and have greater support than most other tobacco control interventions.
  • Article 11 of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control requires parties to implement strong pack warnings and to ban the use of misleading descriptors such as 'low tar', 'light' and 'mild'.

*Updated April 2019