The theme of World No Tobacco Day, hosted by the World Health Organization, is "Get ready for plain packaging." Photo by WHO.

The theme of World No Tobacco Day, hosted by the World Health Organization, is “Get ready for plain packaging.” Photo by WHO.

APHA champions efforts to help Americans live free of tobacco, the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. Today, we join World No Tobacco Day host World Health Organization in supporting this year’s theme, “Get ready for plain packaging.”

According to WHO, plain packaging of tobacco products would limit the drug’s appeal to consumers. This would include bans on branding images and promotional information, along with mandatory graphic health warnings on tobacco packs. APHA has long championed the strongest possible tobacco control measures, including graphic warning rules and labeling.

“Plain packaging reduces the attractiveness of tobacco products, says WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan. “It kills the glamour, which is appropriate for a product that kills people. It limits misleading packaging and labeling. And it increases the effectiveness of health warnings.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration took an important step to get closer to a tobacco-free America earlier this month by issuing its final “deeming rule” extending its authority to cover all previously unregulated tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, cigars, hookahs, gels, and pipe and waterpipe tobacco. Among the rule’s requirements, tobacco manufacturers must place health warnings on product packages and advertisements.

Find out more about plain packaging and tobacco-free living on APHA’s tobacco page.