Global Tobacco Control Updates

Canadian Cancer Society Status Report on Pack Warning Labels Now Available in Seven Languages
07 Feb 2017
Research Alert

The Canadian Cancer Society released an updated version of the Cigarette Package Health Warnings: International Status Report in November 2016 based on data collected through October 2016. The report is now available in seven languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

The report ranks 205 countries and jurisdictions based on the size of their health warnings on cigarette packages, and lists countries that have finalized requirements for pictorial health warnings. The report finds that considerable progress has been made in this policy area internationally since the publication of the last report in 2014.

Key Highlights

By October 2016:

  • 105 countries and jurisdictions had finalized pictorial health warnings on cigarettes packages, an increase of 28 from the 77 that had finalized by 2014. More than 58 percent of the world’s population is covered by these countries and jurisdictions.
  • 94 countries and jurisdictions had warnings covering at least 50 percent of the package front and back of packages, up from 60 countries and jurisdictions in 2014 and 24 in 2008.
  • Nepal had the largest pictorial warnings in the world at 90 percent of the package front and back. Vanuatu implements 90 percent pictorial warnings in 2017. 
  • Four countries had finalized requirements for plain packaging to prohibit tobacco company colors, logos, and design elements on the brand part of the package. Australia fully implemented plain packaging in December 2012.

Since publication of the report, France fully implemented plain packaging on January 1, 2017. The United Kingdom will fully implement plain packaging on May 20, 2017.

To read the report [Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish], visit:

Full Citation: Canadian Cancer Society. Cigarette Package Health Warnings: International Status Report, Fifth Edition. October 2016.

Additional Resources:

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community-based organization of volunteers, whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer.

If you have any questions about the materials or how you can use them in your advocacy efforts, please e-mail


graphic warning labels, plain packaging