All retail tobacco products must carry health warnings. These health warnings are placed on tobacco products to deter smokers from continuing tobacco consumption.
Health warning labels on tobacco products must:
- contain prescribed graphics
- include a warning statement, explanatory message and/or information messages
- be frequently rotated.
The health warning must cover 75 per cent of the front and 90 per cent of the back of a cigarette packet. Cigars and other tobacco products have their own specific requirements for health warnings.
Using tobacco products has been linked to a variety of illnesses, including:
- lung cancer
- throat cancer
- pancreatic cancer
- stomach cancer
- kidney and bladder cancers
- acute chest illnesses and diseases
- chronic chest illnesses and diseases
- lung illnesses and diseases
- stomach ulcers.
Women who use tobacco products during pregnancy expose their children to the risk of serious respiratory illnesses. Non-users, particularly children, can also suffer serious illness if they are exposed to second-hand smoke. Children exposed to second-hand smoke also have an increased risk of these illnesses, including:
- reduced lung function, especially for infants
- an increase in lower respiratory tract infections during infancy
- impaired lung growth
- the risk of developing more serious respiratory diseases in later life.