Hungary is to introduce uniform packaging for tobacco products in a crackdown on the unhealthy habit that goes beyond obligations included in the European Union’s Tobacco Product Directive, adopted by the European Commission in May 2013.
Under the Directive, most provisions of which have to be implemented by national legislation until 20 May 2016, safety warnings must be displayed on 65 per cent of both sides of tobacco products’ boxes, as well as the top of casings.
However, Hungarian legislation adopted in order to curb the country’s tobacco addiction goes beyond EU requirements; starting from May 2016, product logos will be banished from the boxes of cigarettes available in the country and all brands will come in an uniform packaging. This is because Hungary was among the ten countries that agreed on the introduction of brand-neutral cigarette packaging in June. Other participants of the initiative include France, South Africa, Australia, Ireland, Norway, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Uruguay.
Brand-neutral packaging is hoped to decrease the popularity of smoking among young people and women. From May next year, cigarettes in Hungary will come in boxes of identical design – including letter fonts -, colour and size. The only distinctive feature of products will be the name of brand or company and the type of tobacco.
In 2012, Australia became the first country in the world to introduce uniform packaging for cigarettes.
photos: Attila Kovács/MTI and gov.uk