Tobacco plain packaging and health warnings
Tobacco plain packaging and expanded health warnings are part of the Australian Government's efforts to reduce smoking rates.
About the legislation
The Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 and the Tobacco Plain Packaging Regulations 2011 set out the requirements for plain packaging. The legislation prohibits the use of logos, brand imagery, and promotional text on tobacco products and packaging, and includes restrictions on colour, size, format and materials of packaging, as well as the appearance of brand and variant names.
All tobacco products sold, offered for sale or otherwise supplied in Australia from 1 December 2012 must be in plain packaging and be labelled with the new and expanded health warnings.
The Competition and Consumer (Tobacco) Information Standard 2011 specifies the new and expanded health warnings required to appear on all tobacco retail packaging and is an important complementary measure to plain packaging.
Under the Tobacco plain packaging Act 2011 it is an offence to:
- sell or supply;
- offer for sale;
- purchase (with an intention to sell, supply or offer for sale); or
- package or manufacture;
tobacco products for retail sale in Australia which are not compliant with the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 and the Tobacco Plain Packaging Regulations 2011.
It is important to note that ‘offer for sale’ is defined in the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 as including a person making a tobacco product available for sale even if the product is not visible to the public. This means any tobacco product on a premises (including on shelves, in cupboards, behind a counter, or in a storeroom) are considered to be ‘available for sale’.
All tobacco products need to be in plain packaging that is compliant with the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 and the Tobacco Plain Packaging Regulations 2011.
Further information is available on the Introduction of tobacco plain packaging in Australia.
Tobacco plain packaging resources
Useful information for manufacturers/importers/suppliers of tobacco products on the tobacco plain packaging requirements is available on the Tobacco plain packaging resources page.
These resources are also available in languages other than English for people from non-English speaking backgrounds.
If you are unsure of your obligations under the tobacco plain packaging or health warnings legislation, or you are having difficulty understanding the requirements, you may wish to seek independent advice.
- Reporting complaints regarding compliance with the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011
- Tobacco Plain Packaging Enforcement Policy
- Trade Descriptions on Retail Packaging of Imported Products
- Evaluation of tobacco plain packaging in Australia