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Plain packaging for cigarettes being introduced to discourage smoking

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PHOTO: Example of the changes to cigarette packaging now being implemented in Thailand

In the moves to modify polices relating to smokers in Thailand, some of the new legislation is directed towards manufacturer packaging

Cigarette packets will soon be plain and much less attractive under the new regulations approved by the National Tobacco Products Control Committee.

Public Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsattayathorn says that the plain packaging will replace the current packaging. They say the current guidelines have been used for more than five years and become ‘familiar’ with smokers to the extent that it is ‘no longer effective’ in discouraging people from smoking or making people recognise the health threats from cigarette smoking.

He says the plain packaging will be standard and applied to all brands of cigarette. He added that colorful or appealing packaging will not be allowed as it is regarded as marketing of cigarettes.

The Minister says that the introduction of plain packaging regulation would make Thailand the first country in Asia and the eleventh in the world that adopts this kind of ‘negative’ packaging to discourage cigarette smoking. Australia was the first country to enforce plain packaging; the most recent country was Mauritius.

Dr Chayanan Sitthiboot, director of the Tobacco Consumption Control Office, says cigarette manufacturers have one year to prepare for the new packaging.

 

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