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World No Tobacco Day: WHO Urges Countries To Get Ready For Plain Cigarette Packaging

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For the 2016 World No Tobacco Day on May 31, the World Health Organization (WHO) centers on urging countries to get ready for plain cigarette packaging.

WHO, together with its partners, wants to emphasize the health hazards associated with tobacco smoking and promote effective protocols to decrease tobacco use. One step to make this goal possible is to encourage nations to use plain and standardized packaging for tobacco products.

What's With Plain Packaging?

WHO wants to restrict logos, branding, colors and promotional snippets on the packaging. The information on the label should be limited to just brand and product names printed with a standard color and font style.

Plain packaging is said to reduce the appeal of tobacco products among consumers and limit chances for advertising and promotion. Such measure also decreases misleading information and boosts the effectiveness of health warnings.

"Plain packaging builds upon other measures as part of a comprehensive multisectoral approach to tobacco control," WHO writes.

Legislators, civic groups and members of the public may take action to push governments to implement the plain packaging recommendation.

Countries Already Practicing Plain Cigarette Packaging

Plain cigarette packaging has already been followed by several countries. The first ever nation to do so is Australia back in December 2012.

In 2015, the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, Ireland and France all submitted a law to have the plain packaging bill take effect on May 2016.

In the UK, this law was officially implemented on May 20, so all tobacco products manufactured after this date must comply with the standardized plain packaging. Tobacco companies, however, are given time to sell their old batches of products, but in a few months' time, cigarette stalls are expected to literally be all too plain.

Other countries are also said to be in the final phase of considering the said law.

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