Why this Project Matters

As traditional forms of tobacco advertising become restricted or banned in many countries, the tobacco industry uses the cigarette pack itself as a key marketing method to attract new consumers and retain people who currently use its products. The Institute for Global Tobacco Control (IGTC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health developed the Tobacco Pack Surveillance System (TPackSS) project to systematically document the variety of cigarette packages available in the 14 low- and middle-income countries with the greatest number of people who smoke.

The goal of TPackSS is to monitor whether required health warnings on tobacco packages are being implemented as intended, and to identify pack design features and marketing appeals that might violate or detract from country tobacco packaging requirements in these countries. TPackSS has been developed with funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies through the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use.

TPackSS in Action

TPackSS began with an explanatory and planning phase in 2012 to identify strategic goals and systematic protocols for the project. The initial collection of tobacco packs in all 14 countries took place in 2013. The TPackSS team has conducted subsequent data collection in countries as they have implemented new health warning label requirements (2015-2016).

What the Site Offers

Our site offers a searchable database of the tobacco packs, as well as information about health warning label requirements and compliance with these requirements. In addition, we include publications from TPackSS findings and other related resources. It is our goal that the site will support advocacy for full implementation of health warning labels that are compliant with country requirements and that are aligned with the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Article 11 Guidelines.

Dr. Katherine Clegg Smith
Co-Principal Investigator

Vice Dean for Faculty and Professor in the Department of Health, Behavior & Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Dr. Joanna Cohen
Co-Principal Investigator

Bloomberg Professor of Disease Prevention and Director of IGTC at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Dr. Kevin Welding

Associate Scientist in the Department of Health, Behavior & Society and Associate Director of IGTC at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Project Team & Collaborators
Associate Scientist
Assistant Scientist
Senior Research Program Coordinator
Senior Biostatistician
Senior Biostatistician
Post-Doctoral Fellow
Senior Research Program Coordinator
Research Assistant
Research Assistant
In-country Collaborators

AskConsultant for Family Health


Dr. Amina Khan, The Initiative, CEO and Public Health Consultant


GoodThinking Research, Inc.


Dr. William Kittredge, Cervelet Consulting LLC President


Dr. Asli Carkoglu, Kadir Has University

Viet Nam

Milestones Company, Ltd