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Latest News and Updates

July 1, 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:

July 2020 – New research shows plain packaging led to large declines in cigarettes sales in the UK 

A new study from researchers at the University of Bath highlights how standardized packaging and new taxation measures in the UK have led to a large decline in cigarette sales. By analyzing sales data over three years, from May 2015 to April 2018, the study demonstrates that before plain packaging was fully introduced in May 2017 along with a tax increase, cigarette sales (calculated by individual cigarettes) declined on average by 12 million sticks a month; after the legislation, this decrease accelerated sharply to 20 million sticks a month.

February 2020 – New research in the UK and New Zealand shows twice as many smokers notice health warnings on plain packs  

Two separate studies, one in the UK and one in New Zealand, have found that twice as many smokers noticed health warnings before noticing branding on cigarette packs after plain packaging was introduced in those countries, compared to before. Findings published in the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project reveal that of 4000 smokers surveyed in the UK in 2016 and 2018, there was a threefold increase in those who did not like the look of their cigarette packs (from 16% to 53%); and smokers were twice as likely to report that they noticed health warnings (24% to 52%). The same Project conducted surveys in New Zealand before and after implementation of its law and found that 48% of smokers noticed health warnings on new plain packs before noticing branding elements on packs, compared to 24% before the law, and 75% said they did not like the look of their pack, up from 50% before the law.

This adds to the growing body of post-implementation evidence demonstrating how plain packaging is an effective policy. 

January 8, 2020 Israel becomes the first country to require plain packaging for e-cigarettes 

Israel 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.

January 1, 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: 

December 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.