Anti-tobacco demonstrators in Brazil demand implementation of the national Tobacco Control Law. Credit: Aliança de Controle do Tabagismo
- Marketing Bans: Despite the fact that many countries have imposed restrictions on tobacco advertising, the tobacco industry still spends almost $10 billion on marketing (2008). Complete bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship decrease tobacco use, reports the World Health Organization, but only 24 countries have complete bans on such activities. “The traditional marketing of tobacco products is being more and more regulated,” says Michal Stoklosa, an economist at the American Cancer Society. “That is why tobacco companies are moving toward point-of-sale advertising as well as sponsorship and corporate social responsibility.” But only 67 countries have banned point-of-sale advertising, says Stoklosa. In 2013, the government of Kenya pledged to enforce legislation to ban advertising and promotion of tobacco products, and Stoklosa says Kenya has done an exceptional job of implementing the ban.
- Warning labels: Health warnings on cigarette packaging are now required in most countries but the degree of the warnings vary by country. The FCTC requires that they cover at least 30%, and preferably 50%, of the visible area of the pack. Some countries require pictorial warnings but most do not. Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health has just ordered tobacco manufacturers to place graphic warnings about the dangers of smoking on cigarette packs, and it must cover at least 60% of the visible area. And in April 2015, India will go further and require pictorial warnings to cover 85% of the package.
- Plain cigarette packaging: Cigarette manufacturers have a knack for making their products look appealing. In response, some countries are considering laws that require plain cigarette packaging with limited colors and standardized fonts. A Cancer Research UK campaign for plain cigarette packaging made this video, which brilliantly captures what tobacco foes are up against. So far, only Australia has implemented these plain packs.