Misleading descriptors on cigarette packs are forbidden
MEDIA ADVOCACY TO FORBID MISLEADING DESCRIPTORS
Early in the year 2000, Dr. Hatai Chitanondh embarked in another media advocacy commencing by a press interview on the issue concerning the transnational cigarette company’s sale promotion of “mild cigarettes”, luring the people to believe that this group of products were safer than others.
In February 2000, news coverage in this issue appeared in Thai newspapers.
19 February 2000 – Bangkok Business, p.7, headlined, “Proposal to ban the use of “light” cigarette advertising to mislead consumers that it is safer”. Its contents appear as follows:
Dr.Hatai Chitanondh, THPI president, said the World Health Organization recommended governments to enact law to ban the use of the words, “light” “mild”, and “ultra” for cigarette advertising as they may deceive the consumers that such cigarettes are safer.
It was also recommended that stricter quality control of cigarettes be exercised by governments as cigarettes were stated to be the cause of 4 million death of world population per year in the expert group meeting on cigarette control law and regulations held recently in Norway.
Hatai mentioned that based on its research on “easily addicted and difficult to quit” cigarette, the transnational cigarette company had manufactured new products connoting its “light” taste to mislead the consumers that there were less tar and nicotine content. Conventional cigarettes usually contain 12 mg per piece.
The cigarette company held that its “light” product had 1% less tar content and had it printed on the packet. This information was based upon the result of the machine test which was essentially different from actual smoking. When the air passed through the filter in the case of machine smoking it will result in lower tar and nicotine contents. In the case of actual smoking, the smoker usually press the fingers upon the filter or make it wet to avoid air intake thus tar and nicotine levels they get will be similar to those of standard cigarettes.