Tobacco Plain Packaging: Proposed approach to non-cigarette tobacco products

Details of general requirements

Colour of packaging: Drab dark brown (Pantone 448C) in matt finish

12. All retail packaging, regardless of the shape, format and materials used, will be required to be a specified drab dark brown colour (Pantone 448C) in a matt finish. Earlier consumer research commissioned by the Department tested a range of colours based on colours used in previous studies that demonstrated the effectiveness of plain packaging. A particular shade of drab dark brown in a matt finish was found to be optimal in terms of decreasing the appeal and attractiveness of tobacco packaging, decreasing the potential of the pack to mislead consumers about the harms of tobacco use and increasing the impact of graphic health warnings.

13. For consistency with the approach to cigarette packaging, it is proposed that the regulations will allow for the inside of the packaging (including any lining) to be one of a limited range of colours: white, a standard metallic colour if the container is metallic, a standard wooden colour if the container is wooden, or transparent if the container is glass or plastic.

Text used on packaging: ‘Lucida Sans’

14. Earlier research commissioned by the Department determined the optimal font style and font size that would assist retailers in handling of tobacco products while maintaining the public health objectives of the measure. Legibility of brand names was tested at a distance of 1 metre to simulate identification in a retail setting. All participants in the research could read the brand name in font Lucida
Sans at 14 point size.

15. In recognition of the wide variety of non-cigarette tobacco products available and the potential difficulties in producing pre-printed retail packaging for each individual product line, it is proposed that tobacco product brand and variant names will be allowed to appear on retail packaging in several different ways, outlined below.

Pre-printed

16. Tobacco product brand and variant names will be allowed to be pre-printed either directly on the retail packaging or on an adhesive label affixed to the packaging. The brand name must be in Lucida Sans font at a maximum of 14 point size in the colour Pantone Cool Grey 2C. The variant name must be in Lucida Sans font at a maximum of 10 point font size in the colour Pantone Cool Grey 2C.

17. Where an adhesive label with pre-printed brand name and variant is used, the adhesive label must be the colour Pantone 448C and must not be significantly larger than necessary to print the brand and variant name in the specified font and size. It must not cover any part of the mandatory health warnings or other statutory markings on the packaging.

Hand written

18. The brand and variant name may be hand written in black ink either directly on the retail packaging in a rectangular space allocated for this purpose or on a rectangular adhesive label affixed to the packaging. Any adhesive label or space on the packaging for this purpose must be white.

19. The Government’s policy intent is to allow the label or space on the packaging to be large enough to accommodate typical brand names and variant names to be hand written, whilst avoiding the space or label detracting from the drab dark brown packaging. For that reason, the Government is proposing that any adhesive label or space on the packaging for this purpose must not be larger than 50 mm by 20 mm.

Format of packaging

20. Retail packaging will not be allowed to contain a window feature or cut out which allows the product inside the packaging to be visible.

21. Tobacco products must generally be placed directly into retail packaging that complies with the plain packaging requirements. However, exceptions may include where tobacco products are wrapped in transparent wrappers and then placed inside compliant packaging. Lining of packaging that complies with certain specifications (eg white paper or paper-backed foil) may also be permitted.

22. The retail packaging of tobacco products must not have any inserts (things placed in tobacco packaging) or onserts (things that are affixed or otherwise attached to packaging) other than those specifically permitted in the regulations made under the Bill.

Bar codes and manufacturing and importing information

23. Bar codes may appear on packaging in a style, format and location that will be specified in the regulations. Information required under the National Trade Measurement Regulations 2009 and the Commerce (Imports) Regulations 1940 will also be required to appear on packaging in a specified style, format and location unless otherwise required in the relevant regulations.

24. The packaging may bear a ‘Made in Australia’ marking in a specified style, format and location, where the product is made in Australia.

Other symbols and logos

25. To ensure that no other design features detract from the impact of the plain packaging measure, no other symbols or logos, apart from those required under the Trade Practices (Consumer Product Information Standards) (Tobacco) Regulations 2004 under the Australian Consumer Law, or other regulations, are to appear on retail packaging of tobacco products.

Health warnings

26. Health warnings on retail packaging of tobacco products are currently required under the Trade Practices (Consumer Protection Information Standards) (Tobacco) Regulations 2004 under the Australian Consumer Law. The current regime does not apply to cigars offered for single sale.

27. Consultation on the proposed updated and expanded health warnings, including warnings for cigars offered for single sale, is currently being undertaken by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). To access information on the proposed changes and/or lodge a submission please see information at the website below:
http://www.productsafety.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/989093

28. Additional information on health warnings is included at Appendix B to this Consultation Paper.

Anti-counterfeiting measures

29. In relation to anti-counterfeiting measures, the Government is proposing that the plain packaging legislation and regulations:
  • permit the use of unique alphanumeric code markings on the retail packaging in a specified place and format on a voluntary basis on condition that thesecodes are not linked to tobacco marketing or promotion and do not interfere with graphic health warnings;
  • permit the continued use of covert markings in compliance with all other aspects of the Bill; and
  • not specify the packaging material to be used for non-cigarette tobacco product retail packaging.

30. The Government does not endorse tobacco products. The Government will therefore not be providing supporting infrastructure in the form of Government endorsed or licensed machines for the production of the codes, nor consumer phone lines or websites.

Sample images

31. Sample images of the non-cigarette package designs are available at Appendix C to this Consultation Paper.

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Page last updated 30 September, 2011