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.

Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.