Tobacco products to carry clearer warnings about dangers to health
Regulations have been made under Federal Law No 268 which came into force on 22 December 2008 requiring amendments to the form and content of the warnings inscribed on tobacco products.
The main message ‘Smoking Kills’ must occupy 30% of the front of a packet of cigarettes. Under the old rules only 4% of one of the larger sides of a packet need be taken up and there were no requirements about script, background or framing. Now one of twelve warnings will have to appear on the reverse side of the packet: ‘Smoking causes heart attacks and strokes’, ‘Smoking is a cause of lung cancer’, ‘Smoking can cause impotence’, ‘Smoking can cause a slow and painful death’, ‘Smoking is a cause of chronic lung disease’, ‘Smoking during pregnancy is harmful to your child’, ‘Smoking is highly addictive – do not start to smoke’, ‘Smoking increases the risk of dying from heart and lung disease’, ‘Smoking causes premature ageing of the skin’, ‘Smoking can cause sterility’, ’Ask your doctor for help in giving up smoking’, ‘’Protect children from tobacco smoke’. The warnings and accompanying graphics may be amended once a year.
The information about the harm that tobacco does must be framed in black and printed in black capitals on a white background. The letters must be as large as possible and clearly legible. The space between the lines must not be greater than the height of the letters. The message must be evenly laid out within the frame. Information about the harmful effect of tobacco use is to be contained in an insert which in the case of tobacco products intended for smoking will read ‘Smoking is harmful to your health’, and in other cases, ’This tobacco product will damage your health’. The area of the insert should match that of the larger side of the package containing the product.
These are not the only innovation. Deputy minister of health and social development Yury Voronin said that the packet must show information about the tar content, nicotine, and carbon monoxide (CO). As from 22 June, the CO content of the fumes emanating from one filter tipped cigarette must not exceed ten milligrams. Mr Voronin said that it was important for the content of the substance to be regulated at last. Every year in Russia, between 350,000 and 500.000 people die of diseases related to the use of tobacco, which is about 17% of the annual total death toll in Russia.