Norway announces decision to send bill on plain packaging to Parliament

On World No Tobacco Day, the Norwegian Minister of Health and Care Services, Bent Høie, has announced Norway's decision to follow Australia's lead in introducing plain packaging of tobacco products. The Norwegian Government will send a bill to Parliament in June, proposing the introduction of plain packaging in Norway. This means that all tobacco packages must be of the same dark-green colour and have the same font and no logos or other design elements. The tobacco products themselves will also be partially standardized, such as in the colour of the cigarette paper and cigarette tip. The bill is based to a large extent on the Australian and UK legislation and will in principle cover all tobacco products. It will, however, exempt certain categories of tobacco products that are not used by young people, although the sale of such products might be restricted to specialist sales outlets.

This decision by the Norwegian Government is an important step in the direction of full implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) – moving towards achieving the ambitious goal of achieving a tobacco-free European Region.