Assessment Principles

Health Warning Label Compliance

Article 11 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) outlines mechanisms by which Parties to the treaty can increase the effectiveness of their tobacco packaging and labeling. Key elements include warning label location, size, use of pictorials, color, rotation, message content, language, source attribution and information on constituents and emissions.

We created a codebook for each country based on the tobacco packaging and labeling requirements in effect at the time of data collection. The codebooks included measures pertaining to the incorporation of required tobacco packaging and labeling information. 

Only tobacco packs that displayed the authorized country health warning labels in effect at the time of data collection were coded for compliance.

We based HWL compliance on four overarching categories that related to requirements across the countries: (1) Warning location, (2) Warning size, (3) Warning text size, and (4) Warning label elements (such as color contrast). Our assessment of compliance for each country was based on the categories that were in alignment with specific country requirements.  

Pack Features and Marketing Appeals

In addition to compliance with tobacco packaging and labeling laws, we also coded each pack for its physical, textual and visual aspects. We sought to integrate relevant concepts from literature on brand appeal, market development and audience segmentation. 

We created one common codebook that was used for all countries. Each pack was coded for “design features” of the pack, including the shape and size, opening style and any textures or embellishments. We also coded for any evidence of various common “marketing appeals” of the tobacco products. Product “appeals” are various visual elements of branding on the pack to create positive sentiments about the product for a consumer. Some of our common appeals codes included (but were not limited to): flavor, technology, luxury, femininity, masculinity, youth, nationalism and Western culture.