Saudi Arabia adopts plain packaging on tobacco products

The groundbreaking step of introducing plain packaging for all tobacco products has now been competed by Saudi Arabia. The regulation issued by the country’s Food and Drug Authority has entered into force. This makes Saudi Arabia the first country in the Eastern Mediterranean to pass such regulation, which brings the country in line with the requirements of Article 11 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and its guidelines. Saudi Arabia is Party to the Convention since 09 May, 2005.

The comprehensive set of efforts as part of which the regulation for plain packaging targets the full implementation of the Convention. In 2018, Saudi Arabia was organizing a national campaign against tobacco use. As part of the campaign, Saudi Arabia updated its tobacco legislation and regulations in November 2018, delegating the authority of further regulating tobacco package labelling to the Food and Drug Authority. The latter has then issued the plain packaging regulations in December 2018, which entered into force in August 2019.

For more information on this policy, please contact Saudi Arabia’s WHO FCTC focal point, Luluwah Mohamed Alghamdi, International Relations Coordinator (lmghamdi@moh.gov.sa).