Pictorial health warnings on tobacco products in Norway

By July 1, 2011 all cigarette packs in Norway shall carry a pictorial health warning, writes the Norwegian Government on its website.

Research shows that pictorial warnings are far more efficient than textual warnings. Pictorial warnings are easier to remember, communicate health risks more clearly and increase the motivation to quit smoking,” says State Secretary Ellen Birgitte Pedersen at the Ministry of Health and Care Services.

A public consultation was carried out earlier this year, and the proposed pictorial health warnings were supported by nearly all stakeholders.

The new regulations will come into force 1 January 2010. Cigarettes must carry pictorial health warnings by 1 July 2011 at the latest, while other tobacco products must carry such warnings by 1 January 2012. Pictorial health warnings will reduce the advertising effect of brands and logos on tobacco products. Even though the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) has banned the visible display of tobacco products at points of sale from 1 January 2010, the tobacco product health warnings will still be visible after purchase.

The EU has developed a library of pictorial health warnings, and the selection of pictorial warnings to be used in Norway has been based upon submissions to the public hearing and recommendations from the Directorate for Health.

More information can be found on the websites of the Directorate for Health

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