WHO Commends Thailand for Introducing Tobacco Plain Packaging

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Poonam Singh
Regional Director WHO, South-East, Dr. Poonam Singh

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has commended the stronger tobacco control measures being adopted by Thailand which has become the first in Asia, and the first middle-income country to adopt plain packaging for tobacco products.

According to a statement by the Regional Director WHO, South-East, Dr. Poonam Singh, noted that Thailand’s bold steps against tobacco is commendable and reflects the country’s earnest efforts in promoting health and well-being of its people.

He expressed confidence that the new legislative announcement on plain packaging is the latest effort of Thai government and adds to the Tobacco Control Act 2017.

He noted that the control Act 2017 enforces 20 years as the minimum age for purchasing tobacco, bans single stick sale and bans tobacco advertisement, promotion and sponsorship.

The statement further noted that plain packaging of tobacco products restricts or prohibits the use of logos, colours, brand images or promotional information on packaging other than brand names and product names displayed in a standard colour and font style.

Singh further noted that plain packaging is an evidence-based policy being advocated by WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), a legal treaty that aims to protect present and future generation against the devastating health and socio-economic impact of tobacco use.

According to him, “As per Thailand’s new legislation, by September 2019 all tobacco products will have plain packaging. Thailand already has graphic health warnings covering 85 percent packaging of tobacco products. Introduction of plain packaging is expected to further boost the country’s tobacco control efforts targeting the current and new users.