Norway introduces standardised packaging on smokeless tobacco
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Norwegian Directorate of Health, Public Health, Norway
Norwegian Directorate of Health, Norway
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A729
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Background and challenges to implementation:
The use of smokeless tobacco has increased and is high in Norway, especially among young people. Among 16-24-year-olds, 21 per cent of men and 17 per cent of women are daily users. In the past 10-15 years an increasing amount of new snus products with varied and appealing designs has appeared on the market.

Intervention or response:
New regulation requiring standardised tobacco packaging, including snus, came into effect in July 2017.
Norway is the first country to introduce plain snus boxes without the manufacturer´s logo and colours.
The overall purpose is to reduce the number of young people who start using tobacco. By limiting the packaging´s advertising effect, tobacco products are made less attractive. The purpose is also to increase the effect of health warnings and minimise the risk that the package design gives a misleading impression of the health risk.

Results and lessons learnt:
The Norwegian Directorate of Health launched a mass media campaign in May 2017 to inform the population about the introduction of standardised packaging of tobacco, and to increase the support and the knowledge about its purpose. The main message was that standardised packages are introduced to protect children and adolescents. The campaign showed how good product design works as advertising for tobacco.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
A web-based pre-test and post-test were conducted with samples of 1000 persons aged 16-60 years. There was a significant increase in knowledge of the introduction of plain packs, from 50 to 77 percent during the campaign period. Knowledge of the main purpose (preventing recruitment of young people) increased significantly from 17 to 35 percent. The support for the regulation had a significant increase from 53 to 59 percent for cigarette packs, and from 51 to 58 percent for snus boxes. Mass media campaign can be a useful tool to increase support for new regulations.

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