STA, 1 January 2020- Uniform cigarette and tobacco packaging will roll out on New Year's Day under new rules, bearing graphic warnings of the adverse health effects of smoking and donning the Pantone 448 C dark brown hue, known as the ugliest colour in the world, to further deter anyone from picking up the harmful habit.
Changes to the act on the use of tobacco and related products will be introduced on Wednesday. Packages will be non-branded, standardised and overall looking as uninviting as possible, according to the Health Ministry.
Smoking is the No. 1 risk factor potentially leading to premature death in Slovenia, but it can be mitigated. Moreover, lung cancer is caused by smoking in almost 90% of cases, with more than 3,000 Slovenians dying from smoking-related diseases every year.
Uniform packaging is an effective preventive measure deterring consumers from buying tobacco and cigarettes, said the ministry, adding that Slovenia is thus joining the club of the most progressive countries in this fight worldwide, including Australia, France, the UK, Ireland and Norway.
A group of 38 MPs, mostly coalition deputies, tried to postpone the changes, endorsed in 2017, until 2023, but the parliamentary Health Committee voted down their proposal in July.
The attempt ignited warnings that the postponement would have a negative effect on public health. There were also speculations that the tobacco industry was behind the proposal, with the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption looking into possible wrongdoings in the lobbying process.