Tougher tobacco warning messages enforced, cigarette producer unperturbed


BANGKOK, April 15 – A new regulation which imposes printing of warning messages on 85 per cent of a cigarette package will not affect Thai tobacco sales, according to the director of Thailand Tobacco Monopoly (TTM).

Torsak Chotemongkol said a royal decree, proposed by the Public Health Ministry in its unrelenting anti-smoking campaign, was recently promulgated.

The new rule requires tobacco packaging warning messages to cover 85 per cent of each packet, an increase from 55 per cent. All 10 packets in a carton must be displayed with different warning designs.

Mr Torsak said the tobacco monopoly must adjust its printing system and select a variety of anti-smoking photos for the packets, while the TTM logo will be smaller.

The newly-designed packets will be distributed in the market soon.

He admitted the stricter enforcement will have an impact on local cigarette sales but only on the short term.

Smokers will buy cigarettes as usual in the long run, he said, and TTM’s financial contribution to the state will not diminish.

The largest contributor to the country’s coffers, TTM has targeted sending Bt50-60 billion from its Bt70 billion total revenue to the Finance Ministry. It produces 32 billion cigarettes each year.