Cigarette companies are urging the Hong Kong government to scrap its plans to increase the size of graphic tobacco health warnings to 85 percent of pack surfaces, according to a story in the South China Morning Post relayed by the TMA.
The companies are opposed also to a requirement that packs carry a warning that ‘tobacco kills up to half its users’.
They noted that a study by Dr. Kevin Tsui Ka-kin of Clemson University in South Carolina, US, found that there wasn’t a correlation between enlarging warnings and the reduction in the number of smokers.
Tsui Ka-kin said there had been little impact on smoking prevalence after the government first introduced health warnings on tobacco packaging in 1994 or when the pictures were enlarged in 2000 and 2007.
Currently, health warnings must cover at least 50 percent of the surface of cigarette packs in Hong Kong.
The Food and Health Bureau is recommending increasing the size of the warnings from early next year.
Proposals for the imposition of 85 percent warnings have triggered serious industry challenges in other countries.