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Latest News and Updates

Jun 05, 2024

Plain Packaging Measures to be Implemented in Cote d’Ivoire

On May 28, 2024, the Minister of Health in Cote d’Ivoire signed the Ministerial Order on the implementation of graphic health warnings and plain packaging. The measures will come into effect in November of this year and require plain packaging for cigarettes and other tobacco products. Once in effect, Cote d’Ivoire will be the second African country, after Mauritius, to fully implement plain packaging.

Find more information on the Cote d’Ivoire Ministerial Order here

Cote D'Ivoire

Apr 22, 2024

Plain Packaging Implemented in Oman

The law in Oman required manufacturers and retailers to implement plain packaging by September 5, 2023. However, through administrative practice, implementation was delayed to April 4, 2024 and July 4, 2024 for manufacturers and retailers, respectively. Oman now requires tobacco products with plain packaging.

2024 04 17 mauritius PIC

Apr 17, 2024

Plain Packaging Implemented in Mauritius

While an amendment to the public health law regulations in Mauritius delayed the implementation to May 31, 2023, implementation was further delayed (through administrative practice) to December 1, 2023 for manufacturers and retailers. The requirement is in effect, making Mauritius the first African country to implement plain packaging.


Feb 14, 2023

Oman adopts plain packaging standards

On February 14, 2023, a Ministerial Decision was issued requiring plain packaging of tobacco products in Oman. The requirements become effective on September 5, 2023. After Saudi Arabia, Oman is now the second country in the region to adopt plain packaging.


Dec 20, 2022

Mauritius delays the implementation of plain packaging regulations

An amendment to the public health regulations means that the plain packaging requirements for tobacco products manufactured, imported, and sold in Mauritius will take effect on May 31, 2023.  The previous effective dates were December 31, 2022 (manufacturers and importers) and March 1, 2023 (retailers).  


Nov 29, 2022

Implementation of plain packaging is again delayed in Georgia

After amending the national law in 2017 to require plain packaging, the date for the law to take effect in Georgia has been postponed again. Most recently, the plain packaging requirements were to become effective on December 31, 2022.  With the recent amendment to the law, the plain packaging provisions will now enter force on July 31, 2024 for both manufacturers and retailers.  


Oct 19, 2022

Uruguayan court halts the presidential Decree which weakened the plain packaging regulations

In response to the presidential Decree 282/022 (Decree), which weakened plain packaging regulations in Uruguay (discussed in the previous post), the Sociedad Uruguaya de Tabacología (SUT) initiated a strategic litigation and communications campaign seeking to invalidate the Decree.  SUT filed an administrative claim (to exhaust all available administrative remedies) and a rapid constitutional lawsuit requesting an injunction to prevent implementation of the Decree until the administrative challenge is decided. 

On October 19, 2022, the court decided on the constitutional lawsuit and issued an injunction. The injunction, which the Uruguayan State chose not to appeal, halts the implementation of the Decree until a determination is made in the administrative claim (which may take two years). The court’s landmark decision established that the Decree unlawfully and unconstitutionally jeopardized children’s and adolescents’ rights and infringed on Uruguay’s national legal framework and international obligations under health and human rights law. This decision is an important precedent for Uruguay and the region, celebrated by academia, international organizations, and public health advocates locally and regionally.

More information on this significant decision can be found here.


Sep 02, 2022

Uruguay amends its plain packaging regulations, weakening the law

On December 21, 2019, Uruguay became the first country in Latin America to implement plain packaging. Yet, on September 2, 2022, a new presidential Decree was adopted amending the plain packaging regulations. The Decree permits “distinctive elements” to be printed on cigarettes or inside the box. Furthermore, the Decree removed previous restrictions on packaging, including those addressing the type of opening and material. The Decree is effective immediately.

2022 06 Mauritius pic

May 20, 2022

Mauritius is the second African country to adopt plain packaging regulations

On May 20, 2022, the Mauritius government approved new public health regulations introducing plain packaging requirements for tobacco products, making Mauritius the second African country to adopt plain packaging measures. In addition, the regulations require significant health warnings (occupying 70 percent to 100 percent of surface areas) for tobacco products. The regulations are effective on December 31, 2022, for tobacco products manufactured and imported into Mauritius and on March 31, 2023, for those sold in Mauritius.


May 16, 2022

Plain packaging regulations are approved in Georgia

On May 16, 2022, Georgia’s government approved technical regulations requiring the plain packaging of tobacco products, excluding e-cigarettes. The regulations are effective December 31, 2022 and will require standardized colors (Pantone 448C) and fonts on the packaging.


Apr 13, 2022

Finland to require plain packaging for tobacco products, e-cigarettes, and refill containers

On April 13, 2022, Finland amended its Tobacco Act and will require plain packaging for tobacco products, e-cigarettes, and retail containers. A Decree was issued on April 26, 2022, that addressed technical matters, such as package colors (Pantone 448 C) and permitted markings. The Amendment to the Tobacco Act will take effect May 1, 2022, and Decree on uniform packaging will take effect May 1, 2023. 


Mar 23, 2022

Costa Rica’s Social Matters Commission of the National Assembly held a hearing on the plain packaging bill

On March 23, 2022, a hearing was held in the Social Matters Commission of the National Assembly to defend Costa Rica’s Bill 22,497. This Bill includes provisions for standardized plain packaging in Costa Rica.  This video was prepared by the International Legal Consortium’s Gianella Severini and was presented at the hearing to effectively counter the tobacco industry’s intense lobbying and arguments against plain packaging. Hearings will continue at the Committee level throughout April 2022. Hearings continued at the Committee level throughout April 2022.  The Bill for standardized plain packaging will be revisited in August 2022 when the new parliament is installed.

Update: The plain packaging bill was approved by the Social Matters Commission. The next step is for it to be discussed in the plenary.

Costa Rica

Jan 16, 2022

Côte D’Ivoire becomes the first African country to require plain packaging on tobacco products

On January 26, 2022, Côte D’Ivoire’s Council of Ministers adopted a decree establishing rules for the plain packaging of tobacco products.  Further Ministerial Orders are required to provide the pack color and implementation dates.

Cote D'Ivoire

Jan 01, 2022

Hungary requires plain packaging for all brands of cigarettes and rolling tobacco

In 2016, Hungary adopted plain packing laws, which applied to new brands/variants which entered the market.  Following a delay in implementation, as of January 1, 2022, all brands must have plain packaging.   These rules apply to cigarettes and rolling tobacco. 


Jan 01, 2022

The Netherlands has implemented plain packaging laws for cigarettes and rolling tobacco

In March 2020, a Decree adopted in the Netherlands provided powers to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes and rolling tobacco. Conditions for the plain packaging were set out in April 2020 and required that packaging for these products be dark green-brown (Pantone 448 C) and include mandatory health warnings (pictorial and text). The rules were to be implemented by manufacturers by October 1, 2020, and retailers by October 1, 2021.


Dec 01, 2021

Tobacco industry sues Denmark’s Ministry of Health over tobacco regulations

In December 2021, British American Tobacco (BAT) and its subsidiaries (House of Prince A/S and Nicoventures Holdings) sued the Danish Ministry of Health. BAT alleged that provisions of Denmark’s new tobacco control laws are illegal, mainly those which regulate emerging tobacco and nicotine products. As detailed below, beginning in 2020, Denmark adopted laws and regulations requiring the plain packaging of traditional and emerging tobacco and nicotine products, including HTPs and e-cigarettes. This is being challenged in the lawsuit. The case is pending and a decision has not been issued.

2020 07 01 plainpackagin

Jul 01, 2020

Singapore becomes the latest country to implement plain packaging in full

In July, Singapore became the latest country to fully implement plain packaging and the sixth country in 2020 so far. Here is an example of the new packs


Jan 08, 2020

Israel becomes the first country to require plain packaging for e-cigarettes

srael has taken the bold step of being the first country to apply its plain packaging law to e-cigarettes as well as all tobacco products and tobacco accessories. This is a sensible policy step that will allow e-cigarettes to remain available to smokers that want to use them to quit cigarettes completely, but will deter young people from taking up vaping and becoming addicted to nicotine. In addition to e-cigarettes, the law also applies to packs of heated cigarettes used with systems such as IQOS, and tobacco accessories such as cigarette papers. 

The government has published a guide to the new rules with pictures showing how each product should look.


Jan 01, 2020

Denmark introduces plain packaging for tobacco products and e-cigarettes

In December 2020, a law introducing plain packaging was passed by parliament in Denmark.  Subsequently, detailed rules for tobacco products (including HTPs but excluding cigars and pipe tobacco) and e-cigarettes were adopted on March 22, 2021, and April 19, 2021, respectively.

Manufacturers must implement the rules for tobacco products by July 1, 2021, and retailers by April 1, 2022. For e-cigarettes, manufacturers must implement the rules by October 1, 2021, and retailers by October 1, 2022.  

Jan82020 2

Jan 01, 2020

New year brings fresh round of implementation for plain packaging laws

2020 brings implementation of plain packaging laws in a number of countries. Packets of cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco on retailers’ shelves will be in plain packaging in Slovenia (from January 1), and all tobacco products will be in plain packaging in Saudi Arabia (from January 1), Turkey (from January 5) and Israel (from January 8 – see above). Full implementation at retailer level came into effect later in the year for Canada (February 7) and for Singapore (July 1).

Here are images of the new packs from around the world: 

Saudi Arabia

Dec 21, 2019

Plain packs on the shelves in Thailand and Uruguay

Two firsts – Uruguay became the first country in Latin America to implement plain packaging on December 21, 2019, and Thailand became the first country in Asia on December 8, 2019. Congratulations to all those in government and civil society organizations for their tireless efforts to battle the tobacco industry and get this common sense policy in place.


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