LANGUAGE
Last updated: February 24th 2020

Other Packaging and Labeling Requirements

Warning requirements on unit packaging and labeling (e.g., packs)

Yes
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Analysis

The Smoking Ordinance requires warnings on cigarette “packets” and on the “retail container” if the packets are in another container. For cigars, pipe tobacco, and cigarette tobacco, warnings are required on the retail container. Thus, warnings are required on all unit packaging.

The law meets FCTC Art. 11 with regard to warnings on unit packaging.

Warning/messages required on outside packaging and labeling (e.g., cartons)

Yes
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Analysis

The Smoking Ordinance requires warnings on cigarette “packets” and on the “retail container” if the packets are in another container. For cigars, pipe tobacco, and cigarette tobacco, warnings are required on the retail container. Thus, warnings are required on all outside packaging.

The law meets FCTC Art. 11 with regard to warnings on outside packaging.

Warning texts must be in the principal language(s) of the country

Yes
Analysis

Warnings must appear in Chinese and English on cigarette, cigar, pipe tobacco, and cigarette tobacco packages.

The law meets FCTC Art. 11 with regard to the requirement that warnings appear in the principal language of the country.

A requirement that warnings or messages may not be placed where they may be permanently damaged or concealed when opening the pack

No
Analysis

The Smoking (Public Health) (Prescribed Information) Order states that health warnings may not be obscured by "any part of the packet or container when it is closed." This provision, however, appears to fall short of requiring that warnings may not be placed where they may be permanently damaged or concealed when opening the pack.

To align with FCTC Art. 11 and the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines, the law should state that warnings or messages may not be placed where they may be damaged or concealed when opening the pack.

A requirement that tax stamps or other required markings may not be placed where they may conceal warnings or messages

Yes
Analysis

The Smoking (Public Health) (Prescribed Information) Order provides that warnings may not be obscured by an affixture to the retail container, wrapping of the retail container, or an affixture to the wrapping for cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, and cigarette tobacco. This is interpreted as requiring the placement of tax stamps and other required markings where they will not conceal the health warnings.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 11 and the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines in this regard.

A requirement to display qualitative (descriptive) constituents and emissions messages

No
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Analysis

The law does not require qualitative (descriptive) constituents and emissions disclosures. Instead, the law requires the display on cigarette packets of tar and nicotine yields.

To align with FCTC Art. 11 and the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines, the law should require descriptive constituents and emissions disclosures, rather than figurative yield levels.

Prohibition on the display of figures for emission yields (including tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide)

No
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Analysis

The law requires the display of tar and nicotine yields on cigarette packets.

To align with FCTC Art. 11 and the FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines, the law should require descriptive constituents and emissions disclosures, rather than figurative yield levels.

Plain or standardized packaging

No
Analysis

Plain packaging of tobacco products is not required in Hong Kong. The FCTC Art. 11 Guidelines provide that Parties should consider adopting plain packaging measures that restrict or prohibit the use of logos, colors, brand images, or other promotional information on packaging other than brand and product names displayed in a standard color and font style. Plain packaging aims to reduce the appeal of tobacco products, to increase the noticeability of health warnings, and to reduce the ability of the packaging of tobacco products to mislead consumers about the harmful effects of smoking.

Prohibition on misleading tobacco product packaging and labeling including terms, descriptors, trademarks, or figurative or other signs (e.g., logos, colors, brand images that directly create a false impression that a tobacco product is less harmful than other tobacco products)

Yes
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Analysis

The Smoking Ordinance prohibits the use of any misleading term, descriptor, trademark, or figurative or other signs.

The law meets FCTC Art. 11 in this respect.