Background to the graphic warnings

The new regulations around pictorial warnings follow on from New Zealand’s ratification of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in January 2004.

The new regulations around pictorial warnings follow on from New Zealand’s ratification of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in January 2004.

New Zealand was one of the first countries to ratify the FCTC and there are now more than 150 countries around the world that have ratified it.

The FCTC requires parties to meet health-warning standards of at least 30 percent of the principal display areas on tobacco packaging by 27 February 2008. Currently, New Zealand’s text-only health warnings cover slightly less than 30 percent.

Research has shown that graphic images on cigarette packets are the most effective way to get across to smokers the range and severity of the health risks they face from smoking.

Other countries to have introduced graphic pictorial health warnings on tobacco packages include Canada in 2001 and Australia in 2006.

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