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Tag: graphic health warnings

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Thai court approves bigger warnings

| June 30, 2014

Thai cigarette manufacturers will have to print even larger pictorial health warnings by Sept. 23, now that the Supreme Administrative Court has ruled in support of a new regulation by the Public Health Ministry, according to a report in The Nation.

In line with the regulation, pictorial warnings must now cover at least 85 percent of space on the two largest sides of each package.

Earlier, the tobacco industry had secured an injunction from the Central Administrative Court.

The Supreme Administrative Court, however, decided to scrap the injunction on the grounds that the Public Health Ministry has proceeded with proper procedures and introduced the regulation to protect people’s health.

There will be a 90-day grace period for retailers to clear their existing stock of cigarettes, according to the Disease Control Department.

Currently, cigarette packages have pictorial warnings that cover about 55 percent of packets. After the grace period, companies that fail to abide by the new regulation will face a fine.

Low compliance with health warnings requirement

| June 27, 2014

The majority of cigarette packs in Indonesia do not comply with the country’s new graphic health warning requirements, according to a report in The Jakarta Post.

The Drug and Food Monitoring Agency (DFMA) said only 13.44 percent of cigarette packages circulating in the market bear the pictorial warnings that became mandatory on June 24.

Under a presidential regulation on tobacco control issued last year, cigarette makers must allocate 40 percent of cigarette packaging for text and pictorial warnings about the health effects of smoking.

The DFMA and regional food and drug offices in 31 regions monitored the implementation of the new tobacco-control rules during the two days following their enactment.

Of the 2,270 cigarette packages monitored, only 305 or had pictorial warnings. There are 3,363 cigarette brands, produced by 672 companies, registered with Indonesia’s Customs and Excise Directorate.

Health Minister Nafsiah Mboi said that cigarette makers should recall all products that did not display the pictorial warnings.

The ministry said that there would be penalties for companies that failed to comply with the new policy, ranging from written warnings and reprimands to the revocation of their business licenses.

Nafsiah said companies that missed the deadline would be issued warnings, and those that failed to comply could eventually be fined up to $42,000. Their executives could face up to five years in prison.

The country’s biggest cigarette producer, Philip Morris-owned Sampoerna, said it began distributing products with the new warnings on June 23, but it needed more time to clear out existing stock.

A national survey in 2012 found that 67 percent of all Indonesian males over age 15 smoked—the world’s highest rate—while 35 percent of the total population lit up; a figure surpassed only by Russia.

 

Deadline nears for Indonesian health warnings

| June 18, 2014

Indonesia’s Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (FDMA) has told tobacco companies to comply with a government regulation requiring pictorial health warnings on cigarette packs by June 24, reports The Jakarta Post.

Indonesian tobacco companies produced 3,392 cigarette brands as of April, according to Indonesia’s taxation directorate general. Of those companies, only Bentoel, Sampoerna, Djarum and Gudang Garam had registered their cigarette packaging designs with pictorial health warnings, said Sri Utami Ekaningtyas, the FDMA’s addictive substances monitoring director.

“They have sent their pictorial health warnings and shown a commitment to launch these cigarette packs on 24 June. We are optimistic that other companies will follow,” Sri added.

According to the government regulation, tobacco companies should print five pictorial health warnings on their cigarette packs, covering at least 40 percent of a pack’s overall size.

These warnings show scary images of tobacco-related diseases such as mouth cancer, throat cancer and lung cancer.

Kazakhstan to go graphic

| May 1, 2013

Kazakhstan will start requiring pictorial health warnings on cigarette packs from July, according to Azhar Tulegaliyeva, director of the Medical Care Organization Department. The country will be the first nation in the Commonwealth of Independent States to mandate graphic warnings in line with the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which Kazakhstan ratified in 2007.

Under the new law, cigarette packs will contain smoking-related diseases such as stroke and heart attack, and show the threat of miscarriage among pregnant women and the impact of smoking on premature aging of the skin.

Cigarette manufacturers prevail in graphic warnings suit

| August 24, 2012

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today held unconstitutional a regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that would have forced cigarette makers to place nine graphic health warnings on all cigarette packaging and advertising.

Agreeing with arguments made by four tobacco manufacturers, the Court held that the proposed warnings violated the First Amendment because the FDA did not provide evidence that the graphic warnings would “‘directly advance” its interest in reducing the number of Americans who smoke.”

More than informative

“We are pleased that the Court of Appeals agreed with Reynolds that consumers can and should be fully informed about the risks of tobacco use in a manner consistent with the U.S. Constitution,” said Martin L. Holton III, executive vice president and general counsel for R.J. Reynolds, which was one of the plaintiffs.

“Reynolds is committed to providing tobacco consumers with accurate information about the various health risks associated with smoking.”

The Court of Appeals noted that the government can require companies to make “purely factual and uncontroversial” disclosures about the risks of their products in order to prevent consumer deception, but stated that the graphic warnings crossed into unconstitutional territory:

“These inflammatory images and the provocatively-named hotline cannot rationally be viewed as pure attempts to convey information to consumers. They are unabashed attempts to evoke emotion (and perhaps embarrassment) and browbeat consumers into quitting.”

The Court relied on data included in FDA’s regulation that showed the graphic warnings would have little to no effect in reducing tobacco use. In particular, FDA’s analysis of the regulation estimated that the warnings would likely cause no statistically significant change in U.S. smoking rates.