Clear The Air News Tobacco Blog Rotating Header Image

Tougher restrictions on tobacco products

24 August 2011

TOBACCO products are in for a fairly radical facelift, although not a flattering one. Visible tobacco shelves are to be removed completely from kiosks and shops from the beginning of 2012.According to the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health Valvira, the new regulations support the 30-year-old prohibition on the advertisement of tobacco products.

“The methods for displaying tobacco products have been a means of promoting sales. Now that means has been removed,” according to lawyer Laura Terho. The new regulations do not prohibit the sale of tobacco products. Under the new tighter law the products sold will be shown only on a separate list, which the customer will have to ask to see. All traces of product branding will be removed from the automatic cigarette dispensers at supermarket checkouts. They will be replaced with numbers or some other form of coding.

For the time being, cigarette packets themselves will not be altered. In addition to the brand name and logo, cigarette packs currently also carry a warning of the health risks associated with tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide inhalation. Disturbing images showing the harmful effects of tobacco products are likely to be made compulsory by the end of 2012, according to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. A new selection of warning images for use throughout the European Union is currently in preparation.

Additionally, in coming years EU countries may switch over to the practice of removing all branding from tobacco product packaging. All brand names and product descriptions would be written unobstrusively in small text, all with the same size and type of font. The decision to adopt such simplified and unenticing packaging has already been taken in Australia. This has raised a furore among tobacco firms, which have accused the federal government of destroying their brands.

Finland began putting the squeeze on the tobacco industry in 1976, a trend which has coincided with a slow but steady drop in the popularity of smoking. Almost one in five working-age Finns light up every day. The same proportion of 18-year-olds smoke, although among this cohort there has been a steady decline over the past decade.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>