All tobacco products that are placed on the market in Latvia after 20 May 2017 must be labelled in accordance with the requirements of the Law on the Circulation of Tobacco Products, Plant Smoke Products, Electronic Smoking Devices and Their Liquids (hereinafter - Tobacco Law). Section 7, Paragraph two of the Tobacco Law states that the following health warnings have been printed on each unit of packaging of a tobacco product intended for smoking and any external packaging:
- general warning: “smoking kills - discard now!”;
- informative statement: “There are more than 70 substances in tobacco smoke that cause cancer”;
- a combined health warning accompanied by the following information on smoking cessation: "Ask for help! 67037333; www.spkc.gov.lv".
The requirements for the presentation and placing of the referred to warnings on the packaging of specific types of tobacco products shall be determined by the Cabinet of Ministers Regulations No. 306 “Regulations on Requirements for Health Warnings to be Placed on Packaging” (hereinafter - Cabinet Regulation No. 306).
Cabinet Regulation No. 306 the surfaces of the packaging unit on which health warnings must be placed, combined warnings and written warnings to be included therein shall be specified precisely; the surface area as a percentage as the warning covers; instructions for placing warnings on different types, size and design packages; instructions on the font to be used in letters and other detailed instructions.
Operators who place tobacco products on the market may complete an informative self-examination questionnaire in order to gain insight into whether the labelling has been completed in accordance with the requirements. The description of the claims in the questionnaire is accompanied by a reference to the Article of the relevant legislative act or to the point from which it is drawn. The questionnaire was added here.
In verifying the conformity of labelling with the requirement, the type of tobacco product concerned should be taken into account, since the requirements are different for the different types and packaging of tobacco products, and therefore the answer will not always be “yes” (the requirement is met), where the description refers to another type of tobacco product, the answer will be “not applicable”. For example, paragraph 12 applies only to rolling tobacco packaging units designed as a flat-core bag and folding bag, all other tobacco products will have the “not applicable” response at this point.
If it is determined that the labelling to be checked is not in conformity with the description of the requirement, it is necessary to find in the box the adjacent section of the regulatory enactment or the paragraph where the requirement is formulated in order to plan remedial action accordingly, since only the text of the regulatory act has legal effect.