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First in Asia: Thailand ushers plain packaging of tobacco products

Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh
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Rohit Shishodia
Thailand has become the first Asian and low and middle-income country to adopt plain packaging for tobacco products. The Thailand government has made a law to implement this. Under the new legislation, all tobacco products in Thailand will have plain packaging from September 2019.

Plain tobacco packaging does not allow the use of logos, colors, brand images on packaging other than brand names and product names which are displayed in a standard color and font style.

Plain packaging of tobacco products is an evidence-based policy that aims to protect children against hazardous socio-economic impact of tobacco consumption.

Hailing the Thailand government’s legislation on plain packaging, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South East Asia, said that Thailand’s bold measure against tobacco use is commendable and reflects its seriousness in promoting health and well being of people.

Doctors said that tobacco use is a major risk factor for heart attack, cancer, stroke, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases. These non-communicable diseases account for over seventy per cent of all deaths in Thailand.

According to WHO, impact of tobacco consumption is not limited to tobacco user’s health but also impacts his family members. These tobacco users die prematurely and leave their family in financial crunch which hinders their economic development.


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