The Southeast Asian Tobacco Control Alliance recommended that Thailand become the first country in Asia to introduce standardized tobacco packaging
Tobacco companies that have expressed their willingness to comply with the new requirements of the Kingdom’s legislation have begun to comply with the Thailand Standardised Packaging Regulations two weeks before the deadline.
Starting September 12, 2019, all cigarettes in Thailand must be sold in the same grey packs. The names of cigarette brands should be printed in the same font without the use of company colours or logos. In addition, each typical package should have information about the dangers of smoking on it.
The new standardized packaging is another initiative to minimize the number of smokers in Thailand.
“We congratulate the Thai government on this important milestone in the field of public health and call on the Ministry of Public Health to strictly enforce the law. We recommend imposing fines on tobacco companies that do not comply with the new law,” said Dr Ulysses Dorotheo, SEATCA’s executive director.
Standardized packaging reduces the attractiveness of tobacco products, eliminates tobacco packaging as a form of advertising and increases the visibility and effectiveness of graphic health warnings. More importantly, faceless packaging does not attract young people. It limits the ability of cigarette makers to advertise their products. In addition, there is a greater chance that former smokers will be able to prevent relapses.
Thailand has joined 15 other countries that already require standardized tobacco packaging, namely Australia, France, Great Britain, Norway, Ireland, Hungary, New Zealand, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Canada, Uruguay, Slovenia, Belgium and Israel. At least 13 other countries are at different stages of introducing standardized cigarette packages.
Singapore will be the second country in the Asian region to introduce such a standard. The Tobacco Act 2019 requires that all tobacco products (including cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products, including those made by themselves) be sold in standard packaging, starting July 1, 2020.
“Following WHO’s tobacco control recommendations, Singapore and Thailand have paved the way for neighboring countries in the Asian region,” Doroteo said.
Source: The Thaiger. Translation: Anna Boyko.