Norway has again shown its growing support for the plain packaging of tobacco products, as the country recently voiced its support of the United Kingdom and Ireland as those countries move toward taking branding and distinguishing marks off of tobacco packaging.
In recent meetings of the World Trade Organization’s Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), Norway has maintained that the two countries as well as others around the world who have introduced similar proposals have the right to do so, something that several tobacco-producing countries have argued would violate international trade agreements.
Last month, the country’s Ministry of Health and Care Services published a consultation paper that supported requiring plain packaging for tobacco products. The recommendation called for a standardizing of all tobacco packaging by requiring a dark green color, with no allowance for the manufacturer’s logo and other design elements–such as colors, signs or symbols–to be allowed on the packaging or the products. Brand and product names would be standardized as well in a specified font, size, color and location on all packages, which would continue to carry health warnings.
Plain packaging proposals have become a growing trend since Australia passed its requirement in 2012. England, Ireland and New Zealand all have proposals being actively considered while Finland and France and have also begun considering the idea.