Manila publishes health-warning rules

| February 11, 2016

The Philippine government has published its implementing rules and regulations (IRR) on cigarette health warnings, reports Business World Online.

The IRR define the space requirements for graphic health warnings, including photographic images on packaging and warnings in text, as well as the corresponding penalties for violations.

The rules require warnings to be printed in Filipino on the front panel and in English on the back panel. In the case of containers where there is only one external surface area, the accompanying text will alternately be in English or Filipino.

Graphic health warnings are required to take up at least 50 percent and be prominently carried on the product’s principal display surface while a 30 percent space allotment on the side of the product package is required to contain additional warnings on the dangers of smoking.

At most, 12 templates of graphic health warnings on tobacco products for each brand family and brand variant shall be rotated for a period of two years.

The IRR also impose a ban on what are considered as ‘misleading descriptors,’ disallowing tobacco manufacturers from using terms such as “low tar,” “light,” “ultra-light,” “mild,” “extra.”

Violators will be fined a maximum of PHP500,000 ($10,522) for a first offense and up to PHP1 million for a second offense. Imprisonment of up to five years kicks in on the third offense as well as a fine of up to PHP2 million. Third-time offenders are also liable for revocation of their business permits.

Retailers and their agents found in violation of the IRR, including the display or sale of non-compliant tobacco products, face a penalty of up to PHP10,000 on the first offense. Penalties escalate to up to PHP50,000 for a second offense and up to PHP100,000, imprisonment of up to one year, and business permit revocation for third-time offenders.

 

Category: Breaking News

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