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Public Health

Health warnings

The Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU) requires cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco and waterpipe tobacco to carry combined health warnings consisting of a picture from the EU picture library, a text warning and information on stop smoking services. EU countries may also choose to apply the same requirements to other tobacco products such as cigars, cigarillos and pipe tobacco. The warnings should cover 65% of the front and back of packages. Tobacco products with combined health warnings must also carry a general warning and information message.

The EU picture library

The EU library features 42 pictures laid down in Commission Delegated Directive 2014/109/EU of 10 October 2014.

The pictures were developed by external contractors and tested on 8.000 participants in 10 EU countries. Further information on the combined health warnings can be found in the Q and A on Combined health warnings.

Layout and position of health warnings

In order to specify the layout of the combined health warnings and the position of health warnings on roll-your-own tobacco pouches, the Commission has adopted two implementing acts:

In developing these acts, the Commission asked an external contractor to provide it with technical input on the implementation of warning messages on tobacco packages, according to the provisions of the Directive. The final report can be found here. Please see page 177 for suggestions of how to edit of the combined health warnings prepared by the contractor.

Combined health warnings in the EU

Tobacco packages must carry combined health warnings in the official language(s) of the EU countries where they are sold. Examples of the combined health warnings in EU countries can be found below:

More information on the previous library under Directive 2001/37/EC