US Cigarette Companies Face Tough New Warning Label Requirements

Australia has plans, as France seriously considers the idea, to make cigarette packaging generic by 2012RedTracker| Following France, cigarette sellers in the US must now place graphic images such as corpses and diseased lungs on the warning labels of packages and in advertisements to highlight smoking risks.

The warnings, which must cover 50 percent of the front and back of cigarette packages and 20 percent of print ads, are part of legislation passed last year.

Several of the major players including Reynolds and Lorillard are in federal court, trying to overturn the law.

It’s unconstitutional for the government to “confiscate the top 50 percent of both sides of cigarette packaging and mandate shocking color graphics,” Reynolds and Lorillard said in September in a brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati. via Business Week

Many countries in the world are moving to laws requiring non-branded generic packaging of products. Obviously, the cigarette companies are extraordinarly defiant on that topic.

In particular, these moves would derail marketing strategies targeted to young women in developing countries, where the strategy is to make smoking fashionable, not harmful, for young women. One company in Egypt markets cigarettes in a packet that looks like a perfume container. The World Health Organization has asked cigarette companies worldwide to stop targeting women in developing countries.

More reading: Compensation threat to plain cigarette packaging plan ABC News Australia

France considers law banning logos and colours on cigarette packets The Connexion