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More countries adding graphic warnings to cigarettes
Question of the Day
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia became the newest country to mandate graphic photo warnings on cigarette packs on Tuesday, joining more than 40 other nations or territories that have adopted similar regulations in recent years.
The warnings, which showcase gruesome close-up images ranging from rotting teeth and cancerous lungs to open tracheotomy holes and corpses, are an effort to highlight the risks of health problems related to smoking.
Research suggests these images have prompted people to quit, but the World Health Organization estimates nearly 6 million people continue to die globally each year from smoking-related causes. The tobacco industry has fought government efforts to introduce or increase the size of graphic warnings in some countries.
Here are a few places where pictorial health warnings have made headlines:
THE LAW: 40 percent of pack covered by graphic photos.
TIMING: Deadline to be on shelves was June 24.
BACKGROUND: Many tobacco companies missed Tuesday’s deadline to comply with the new law requiring all cigarette packs in stores to carry graphic warning photos. Indonesia, a country of around 240 million, has the world’s highest rate of male smokers at 67 percent and the second-highest rate overall. Its government is among the few that has yet to sign a World Health Organization treaty on tobacco control.
THE LAW: Portion of cigarette packs that must be covered with graphic health warnings rising from 55 percent to 85 percent.
TIMING: Change will take effect in September.
BACKGROUND: Last year, the Public Health Ministry issued a regulation increasing the level of coverage to 85 percent. Tobacco giant Philip Morris and more than 1,400 Thai retailers sued, and a court temporarily suspended the order. On Thursday, the Supreme Administrative Court ruled that the regulation can take effect before a lower court reaches a final verdict in the lawsuit.
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