Preliminary research suggests that this information is more meaningful to consumersand less likely to result in misperceptions about the relative risk of different cigarette brands.87 However, there is evidence that the general descriptive messages implemented to date could be improved further. There is extensive evidence that using the internationally recognized symbol for toxicity – the skull – increases the salience and comprehension of toxic chemical warning messages, particularly among children and diverse populations, including individuals with low literacy and education rates
Current International Best Practice
A growing number of countries have removed emission numbers from packages and replaced them with descriptive information about toxic constituents and their effects on health. Canada and Thailand were among the first countries to require qualitative statements on packages, in accordance with recommendations from the World Health Organization, and recently followed by Malaysia. In addition, research commissioned by Health Canada found that messages on specific toxic constituents with an explanation of their health effect were rated as most effective.
Laws and Regulations
Malaysia Control of Tobacco Product Regulations Amendment 2008 Qualitative Statements
Thailand Ministry of Public Health Notification No16 Display Statements about Toxic or Carcinogenic substances on Cigarette Label 2011