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Analysing compliance of cigarette packaging with the FCTC and national legislation in eight former Soviet countries
  1. Hassan Mir1,
  2. Bayard Roberts2,
  3. Erica Richardson2,
  4. Clara Chow1,3,
  5. Martin McKee2
  1. 1Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
  2. 2European Centre on Health of Societies in Transition, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  3. 3The George Institute for Global Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Bayard Roberts, European Centre on Health of Societies in Transition, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 15-17 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9SH, UK; Bayard.roberts{at}


Aim To analyse compliance of cigarette packets with the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and national legislation and the policy actions that are required in eight former Soviet Union countries.

Methods We obtained cigarette packets of each of the 10 most smoked cigarette brands in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. The packets were then analysed using a standardised data collection instrument. The analysis included the placing, size and content of health warning labels and deceptive labels (eg, ‘Lights’). Findings were assessed for compliance with the FCTC and national legislation.

Results Health warnings were on all packets from all countries and met the FCTC minimum recommendations on size and position except Azerbaijan and Georgia. All countries used a variety of warnings except Azerbaijan. No country had pictorial health warnings, despite them being mandatory in Georgia and Moldova. All of the countries had deceptive labels despite being banned in all countries except Russia and Azerbaijan where still no such legislation exists.

Conclusions Despite progress in the use of health warning messages, gaps still remain—particularly with the use of deceptive labels. Stronger surveillance and enforcement mechanisms are required to improve compliance with the FCTC and national legislation.

  • Advertising and Promotion
  • Packaging and Labelling
  • Low/Middle income country
  • Public policy

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