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Institute for Global Tobacco Control

IGTC Releases Health Warning Label Compliance Guide

April 2020


The Institute for Global Tobacco Control (IGTC) has collaborated with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK), and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) to develop a comprehensive “how-to” guide on assessing compliance with tobacco packaging and labeling requirements.

"Tobacco companies use tobacco packaging as a way to promote and market their products and increase sales. Larger, best-practice health warning labels and other requirements for tobacco packaging and labeling can counter these efforts" says Joanna Cohen, IGTC Director. "This guide will help civil society groups assess whether tobacco companies are following the law when it comes to tobacco packaging requirements."

Maria Carmona, Ernesto Sebrie, Teresa DeAtley (CTFK), Jennifer Brown (IGTC) and Tara Singh Bam (Union) served as lead authors on the project, which was funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies as part of the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use.

"The kind of assessments laid out in the Guide do the important work of documenting violations or weak interpretations of the law as well as recognizing progress over time," says Brown. "Assessment provides valuable evidence to advocates that can be used to identify gaps in implementation, identify loopholes or weak provisions of the law, and highlight provisions that can be strengthened. These findings can then be communicated to policy makers and governments who have the responsibility for enforcement."

The guide provides a step-by-step approach to conducting a compliance assessment of tobacco packaging and labeling requirements. The steps are flexible and assessments can be adapted dependent on the resources available. The document, which also features critically important appendices with examples, is available for free at