Cigarette pack labelling practices in Nigeria-Implications for policy recommendations
Background: Cigarette packaging has been reported to be a major means of promoting initiation and maintenance of cigarette use. This may impact on smoking habits in low and middle income countries where tobacco related burden is high. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study of cigarette pack labelling practices in a local government area in southwestern Nigeria. A data collection instrument was used to obtain information from all cigarette packs identified. Results: Twenty different brands with varying pack colours, designs and labels were found. The average cost of a pack was $1.25. All the packs provided information on tar levels and had a single, non-specific textual warning message “Federal ministry of health warns that smokers are liable to die young” located in the front panel. None provided health warnings in any of the local languages. Discussion: The findings suggest that the prevalence of promotional labeling may be quite high. Future studies may be required to determine the impact of restrictive labeling practices on incidence on tobacco use.