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New anti-tobacco alliance in Thailand comes armed with warning

| October 2, 2013

Doctors and academics in Thailand have together formed the National Alliance for Tobacco Control (NATC) in order to strengthen the country’s anti-smoking messages, according to a story in the Bangkok Post.

The alliance, officially launched on Tuesday, said that its first mission was to support the public health policy of enforcing bigger health warning images on cigarette packaging.

NATC representative, Somsri Pausawasdi, president of the Physicians and Public Health Personnel Network for a Non-Smoking Society, said the formation of the alliance was prompted by a lawsuit launched by tobacco interests against the Public Health Ministry recently.

The lawsuit opposed a regulation requiring cigarette companies to increase the size of cigarette-pack health warnings from 55 percent to 85 percent of the front and back surfaces.

The regulation was scheduled to take effect today, but the Central Administrative Court ordered the ministry to suspend its enforcement while the court considered the lawsuit.

Wanchai Supachaturat, a member of the Medical Association of Thailand, said the tobacco companies opposed the change because they feared it could lead to a drop in the number of smokers, and thus cut into their profits.

In September, the ministry filed an appeal with the Supreme Administrative Court asking that the ministry be allowed to require the bigger health warnings.

Category: Breaking News

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