Graphic warning reprieve in Myanmar

| October 4, 2016

Tobacco companies have been given an additional six months to comply with a Myanmar government regulation that tobacco-product packs carry graphic health warnings, according to a story in The Myanmar Times citing a directive from the Ministry of Health and Sport.

In February, the government announced that the new regulations would go into effect on September 1, but, on September 28, Dr. Mya Lay Nwee, deputy director of the Department of Public Health in Nay Pyi Taw, told the Times that the they would not go into effect until February 2017.

“Tobacco companies made a request to the ministry that the new laws not be applied to products which had reached the market before September 1,” she said. “Therefore, the minister for health and sport has granted the tobacco companies an amnesty period of six months, during which they can retrieve products that do not contain the proper warning labels from the market.

“The [new] law will still apply to products manufactured after September 1 and anyone who breaks the law following the amnesty period will be punished in accordance with the legislation.”

One concern that has been raised by the new tobacco packaging edict is that many retailers are unaware that they could face punishment if they sell incorrectly packaged products.

“We did not know about the new law,” said retailer Daw San. “Tobacco companies have told us to sell our [improperly packaged] stock before the end of the six-month period and that they will then take back any unsold stock.”

Category: Breaking News

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