Thailand May Put Photos of Diseases on Cigarette Pack

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BANGKOK--Following a similar move by Canada last year, Thailand's National Commission for the Control of Tobacco Consumption has proposed to the Ministry of Public Health that photos of diseases associated with smoking be placed on locally produced cigarette packs, along with larger health warnings.

The proposal, if approved, would represent yet another drastic step in the Thai government's campaign to curb tobacco consumption in the country.

The color photographs would include images of lung cancers, deformed fetuses, smoker's legs, coronary heart disease and other smoking-related diseases.

To accommodate the photographs and associated texts, the commission proposed an increase in the allocated health warning area on both sides of each pack to 50% from the current 30%.

The proposal will be submitted to the legislature, possibly within the first half of this year.

Separately, a forum of popular actors along with some movie and TV producers have pledged to comply with a recent ban by the Thai cabinet against actors smoking on screen. The government ban immediately effects all local productions.

Copyright May 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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