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World Health Organization (WHO) marks the theme of 31 May of the World No Tobacco Day in 2016 as “Get ready for plain packaging “.

Plain packaging is a measure that restrict or prohibit the use of logos, colors, brand images or promotional information on tobacco packaging other than brand names and product names displayed in a standard color and font style. According to WHO, it is an important demand reduction measure that reduces the attractiveness of tobacco products, restricts use of tobacco packaging as a form of tobacco advertising and promotion, limits misleading packaging and labelling, and increases the effectiveness of health warnings.

Australia is the first country to implement plain packaging in December 2012. A number of countries, including Ireland, United Kingdom and France, have passed the laws to implement plain packaging or in advanced stages of considering adoption.

The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) recommends that Parties consider adoption of plain packaging. Through the World No Tobacco Day 2016, WHO aims to highlight the role of plain packaging as part of a comprehensive, multi spectral approach to tobacco control and facilitate policy development by Member States. Moreover, WHO encourages Member States to work towards plain packaging in a step-wise approach by strengthening packaging and labeling measures and restrictions on advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

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