Sri Lanka, Ukraine Implement Graphic Cigarette Warnings

October 08, 2012

Marking major victories in the global fight against tobacco, Ukraine and Sri Lanka have announced the implementation of graphic warning labels to be required on all cigarette packs sold in these countries.

Sri Lanka will join Australia and Uruguay in implementing some of the largest graphic warnings in the world, covering 80 percent of the front and back of cigarette packages. In Ukraine, warning labels were implemented last week and now cover 50 percent of all cigarette packs.

A growing number of countries are implementing large, graphic cigarette warnings in compliance with the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the international treaty. Studies around the world show that large, graphic warnings are most effective at informing consumers about the health risks of smoking, discouraging children and other nonsmokers from starting to smoke, and motivating smokers to quit.

The new cigarette warnings follow a string of other tobacco control policy successes in Sri Lanka and Ukraine. Sri Lanka recently banned the use of misleading terms such as light, mild, low, ultra and extra to describe cigarettes. Ukraine in September implemented a ban on tobacco advertising, promotions and sponsorships and will require smoke-free restaurants, cafes and bars in December.

These new measures represent Sri Lanka and Ukraine's commitment to protecting public health and combating the global tobacco epidemic, which kills nearly six million people around the globe each year.