© WHO, World No Tobacco Day 2016 campaign

On World No Tobacco Day 'Get ready for plain packaging'

31st May 2016

31 May is World No Tobacco Day, the theme of which this year focuses on “plain (standardized) packaging” of tobacco products, which was first introduced by Australia in 2012 and as is being implemented in the UK and France, with other countries moving in the same direction. 

Plain packaging of tobacco products restricts or prohibits use of logos, colours, brand images and promotional information. Plain packaging is part of a integrated approach to tobacco control that includes comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship and other packaging and labelling measures, such as large graphic health warnings. 

Globalization of plain packaging is underway as governments around the world seek to embrace this measure. Tobacco companies have fought plain packaging with a massive misinformation campaign since as far back as 1993. 

Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on its Member States to get ready for plain packaging. Australia, United Kingdom, France and Ireland have passed laws to implement plain packaging, and other countries are considering the same. The tobacco industry has filed suits against several countries to stop plain packaging, but without success, most recently in the UK.

At the World No Tobacco Day event held today in Oslo, the Norwegian Minister of Health and Care Services, Bent Høie, has announced that Norway will soon introduce plain packaging.

See WHO Director-General statement Dr Margaret Chan on plain packaging in 6 languages: ARCHESEN, FR and RU.

For live updates follow #NoTobacco

For more information contact: Paul Garwood, WHO Communications, [email protected]