In 2001, a directive of the European Parliament and Council concerning the use of health warnings on cigarette packages became law. European Commission (EC) member states were required to display text warnings that covered a minimum of 30% of the “front” and 40% of the “back” of packages (45% for member states with two official languages and 50% for member states with three official languages). The EC provided its member states with a series of 42 optional pictorial warnings. The terms “light” and “mild” were prohibited from appearing on packages. Tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide emission numbers were required to appear on the side of packages. These emission numbers were generated using the ISO machine smoking method.
A new Tobacco Product Directive (TPD) came into force May 20, 2016. The new TPD requires pictorial health warnings that cover the top 65% of the front and back of the package. Three different sets of 14 warnings will be rotated annually. “Slim” packages, as well as promotional and misleading descriptors such as “lite”, “natural” and “organic” are prohibited. Member states have the option to require plain standardised packaging.
Health Warning Reports, Publications & Presentations
European Union’s Health Warning Document Library
Library of Picture Warnings
2016 to Present**
2004 to 2016**
** The images contained in this gallery are subject to EU copyright laws. Any duplication, reproduction, or use without the express consent of said party is prohibited. Countries should be contacted individually for usage of images.