Cigarette packs have changed: What they look like and what messages they should contain

Packages of cigarettes put up for sale must comply with the new requirements of the legislation starting Sunday, so they will display larger color images showing the risks associated with smoking, on 65% of the front and back surfaces of the pack, combined with warning and information messages.

The packaging must bear on the sides the general warning “Smoking kills” and the message “Tobacco smoke contains over 70 substances that cause cancer”, removing information on tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide levels.

Law 201/2016 stipulates that the sale of tobacco products manufactured and labeled in accordance with the previous provisions, of Law 349/2002, was allowed until Saturday, May 20.

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The law stipulates that each pack of cigarettes and tobacco products contains the general warning “Smoking kills” and the information message “Tobacco smoke contains over 70 substances that cause cancer”, placed on the side surfaces of the pack, at the bottom, with a minimum width of 20 millimeters, so as to cover half of the surfaces, using bold bold Helvetica characters on a white background.

Messages must be framed in a black border with a width of 1 millimeter.

The general warning will also be included on the bottom of the top surface which is visible when the pack of cigarettes is opened.

Each pack and any outer packaging of smoking tobacco products includes combined health warnings, consisting of an image expressing the harmful effects of smoking and a text message, covering 65% of the front and back surfaces of the pack.

Text warnings can be:

– “Smoking causes 9 out of 10 lung cancers”;
– “Smoking causes cancer of the mouth and throat”;
– “Smoking damages the lungs”;
– “Smoking causes heart attacks”;
– “Smoking causes strokes and disability”;
– “Smoking blocks the arteries”;
– “Smoking increases the risk of blindness”;
– “Smoking damages teeth and gums”;
– “Smoking can kill the unborn fetus”;
– “Your smoke harms your children, family and friends”;
– “Smokers’ children are more likely to start smoking”;
– “Quit smoking – stay alive for your loved ones”;
– “Smoking reduces fertility”;
– “Smoking increases the risk of impotence.”

This set of combined health warnings, the first of the three provided in the annexes of law 201/2016, will be used until the end of this year by manufacturers and importers of cigarettes and tobacco products for smoking, and the next two sets will be used for 12 months each, so that the consumer does not get used to the same images on the packs of cigarettes for too long.

Product or brand names will not be written above health warnings and will take up less space than before.

At the same time, the number Tel Verde STOP FUMAT 08008 78673 will be displayed on the package.

The labels no longer display any information on the nicotine, tar or carbon monoxide content of the tobacco product, considering that the data may be misleading to the consumer.

It is forbidden, at the same time, that any characteristic refers to the taste, smell, flavorings or other additives or to their absence; or to suggest that it resembles a food or cosmetic product or that it has better biodegradability or other environmental benefits.

In the case of cigarettes and tobacco products, it is not allowed to include value coupons, discount offers, free distribution, such as “two products at the price of one” or similar.

The law also prohibits the introduction in Romania of tobacco products with a characteristic flavor and of tobacco products that contain the following additives: vitamins or other additives that create the impression that a tobacco product has a beneficial effect on health or that it presents lower health risks. ; caffeine or taurine or other additives and stimulant compounds that are associated with energy and vitality; additives with coloring properties for emissions.

In the case of smoking tobacco products, additives that facilitate the inhalation or absorption of nicotine are prohibited, but also additives that have CMTR properties (carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic properties) in unburned form.

Tobacco products that contain flavors are no longer allowed in any of the components of tobacco products, such as filters, papers, packaging, capsules or any technical feature that allows the change in the smell or taste of those tobacco products or the change in burning intensity; or which include tobacco or nicotine in filters, papers or capsules.

Tobacco products other than cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco are exempted from the above prohibitions.

The maximum emission levels of cigarettes placed on the market or manufactured in Romania must not exceed 10 mg of tar, 1 mg of nicotine and 10 mg of carbon monoxide for a cigarette.

The sanctions provided by law for importers, producers and traders vary between 50,000 lei and 100,000 lei, depending on the violated provisions.

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