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Cigarettes manufacturers in Thailand protest against increasing "warning zone" on the packs

May 20, 2013

Struggle has blazed up in Thailand around the plans of Ministry of Health to significantly increase - to record in the world 85 % of pack surface - warning inscriptions, signs and frightening pictures on cigarettes.

In accordance with new rules "warning zone" on tobacco products in the nearest time should be enlarged practically to take entire front surface of cigarette pack but trade mark of the manufacturer should be placed in small rectangle below.

Thailand government intends to make in such a way that warning about smoking harm accompanied by pictures of smoking consequences would take on the pack so much place that another information would be practically non-readable.

Even now on cigarettes packs that are sold in Thailand 55 % of the surface are allotted for pictures of smoking consequences.

However, increasing "warning zone" till the size of pack has drawn severe criticism even from part of state agencies. In particular, Copyright Protection Agency and International Trademark Association have directed to Thailand prime-minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Health Minister of kingdom Pradit Sintavanarong official complaint.

In the document they have indicated that new rules infringe Thai legislation in force in the area of copyright protection and provisions of intentional agreements. Because of new rules owners of tobacco trade marks will lose valuable assets as result may arouse conflict with World Trade Organization, they warn.

Thai Tobacco Trade Association (TTTA) has warned, in its turn, that new marking of the packs will lead to negative effect for entire chain of tobacco sale on kingdom territory. Trade sections of tobacco supply will suffer beginning with wholesalers and ending with small shops, show associations.

"Declarations of Health Ministry has shocked wholesalers, - says TTTA executive director Varaporn Namatra. - There were no hints on new measures and nobody from us was invited to discuss these steps". At present moment record of increasing "warning zones" on cigarette packs holds Australia. There 82.5 of cigarette pack take warnings about harm of smoking.


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