ENSP and ERS congratulate Hungary on the finalisation of plain packaging requirements



The European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (ENSP) and the European Respiratory Society (ERS) congratulate Hungary for the finalisation of plain packaging requirements. This step is an important advance in protecting the youth from taking up smoking. From 20 May 2019, all the cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco products may only be placed on the market in plain packaging. Hungary thus joins Australia, Ireland, UK and France in adopting this measure.

On 20 August 2016 a new Hungarian legislation will come into force regarding the packaging of cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco products in accordance with the adopted EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). This legislation will be effective at retailer level as of 20 May 2017. Furthermore, the legislation introduces plain packaging for cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco products to be implemented by 20 May 2019. The brand and product name must be marked with the specified colour and font and logo, colour, brand image or promotional information will be allowed on the packaging.

Tibor Demjen, Head of Unit of the Hungarian Focal Point for Tobacco Control, National Institute for Health Development and ENSP member comments:

“This is not only a major step forward in protecting the health of Hungarian citizens, but also another milestone towards protecting future generations in Europe. Hungary is now one of the leaders in adopting this important measure following in the footstep of forward-thinking countries such as Australia, UK, France and Ireland.”

Francisco Rodriguéz Lozano, ENSP President welcomes the announcement of the introduction of plain packaging:

“Hungary has recognised the evidence confirming the effectiveness of plain packaging, especially in preventing young people from taking up smoking. The Hungarian government is sending a strong message to EU Member States and other countries across the world that efficient policies in tobacco control can be adopted despite the industry’s pressure and intimidation. We, at ENSP and ERS, urge other countries to follow suit in prioritising the health of future generations.”

Prof. Carlos Jimenez-Ruiz, Chair of the ERS Tobacco Control Committee says: “On 31st May, as part of World No Tobacco Day, ERS and ENSP encouraged EU countries to get ready for plain packaging and we are delighted to see that Hungary has now officially adopted the legislation. We hope remaining Member States will follow the lead, not only by adopting plain packaging but also a set of measures such as smoke free legislation or smoking cessation services, which will, all together, help reducing tobacco-related deaths.”

The implementation dates for Hungary are as follows:

  • Effective (practically) immediately: new 65% of the pack with picture and health warnings, at the manufacturer level;
  • Effective by 20 May 2017: new 65% of the pack with picture and health warnings, at retailers level
  • Effective by 20 May 2019: plain packaging is required

Hungary’s new requirements have been included as part of a Decree that includes provisions related to implementation of the new EU Directive.


Submitted by: Andrea Glahn, 2 December 2016