SUCCESSFUL FIGHT FOR GRAPHIC HEALTH WARNINGS FOURTH IN THE WORLD
27 April 2000 – Newspaper Bangkok Post p.1 "Move to enlarge and illustrate health warning on cigarette packets" :
- 'Proposals are being drawn up to enlarge health warnings on cigarette packets and include pictures of ailments caused by smoking.
- They will be considered by the National Commission on Tobacco Consumption Control, chaired by the public health minister, next month.
- Currently, each warning covers 30% of a packet. It should cover at least 50%, said Dr Prakit Vathisathokit, of the commission. Also, the commission will be asked to consider the suggestion that instead of continuing to print all 10 health warnings now in use, only the five or six most ominous, such as "smoking causes impotence", should be used.
- Dr Prakit said it was necessary to change the wording of anti-smoking messages as well as their presentation to achieve maximum impact.
- He said it should not take too long to make the necessary amendments to require the changes to health warnings on packets.
The move to enforce a ban on scenes showing smoking in movies and on television was far more conplex.
Dr Prakit said the proposed TV movie ban was not an infringement of the freedom of expression since it was aimed at protecting impressionable youngsters.
- The commission will also be asked to consider setting up a committee to study and update two tobacco laws in use for almost a decade. Despite the ban on cigarette advertising, violations continue, particularly through advertisements at points of sale and sponsorship, Dr Prakit said.
- The ministry plans to mark World No-Smoking Day on May 31 at Sanam Luang. The event will be attended by World Health Organisation directorgenral Gro Harlem Brundtland.
- The anti-smokign torch, which was lit in January in India, will be brought from Nepal to Thailand on April 30.