Deputy Public Health Minister Dr. Chonlanan Srikeaw has made an announcement about the new anti-smoking campaign to mark the World No Tobacco Day on May 31, while launching new law to enforce greater cigarette warning label.
The slogan for the World No Tobacco Day this year is “Ban Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship.”
The participants in the press conference were Dr. Nima Asgari of the World Health Organization Country Office, Director General of the Thai Health Promotion Institute Dr. Hathai Shitanont, and Secretary General of the Action for Smoking and Health Foundation Thailand Professor Dr. Prakit Wateesatokkit.
Reported by Deputy Minister Dr. Chonlanan, the new rule, which will be enforced on October 2, establishes that warning label on cigarette package must include 85% of the package. Dr. Chonlanan indicated his strong belief that the campaign would considerably help discourage smoking and decreasing the number of new smokers.
He said experts have mentioned that warning labels on cigarette packages have made a substantial psychological influence on smoking people, with 69% of smokers saying the labels made them understand the risk of smoking, and 59% declaring the labels urged them to stop smoking.
The new regulation also states that those who will break the law will be fined at 100,000 baht for the maker, and 20,000 baht for retailers who won’t display the warning labels.
World Health Organization has pointed out that over 6 million people around the world die from smoking each year, including 50,000 in Thailand.
Local data stated that, in 2011, over 11 million of Thais 15 years old and up smoked cigarettes, making up 19% of the population. Data also suggested that Thais began smoking at a much younger age now than before, with the average age of new smokers being 16.2 years old.
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