Monitoring tobacco packaging and labelling in South-East Asia
A new index is helping governments in South-East Asia strengthen implementation of tobacco packaging and labelling in their countries.
Released by the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance, (SEATCA) the Tobacco Packaging and Labelling Index evaluates how countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) implement recommendations from Article 11 guidelines of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
Key findings from the index:
- All 10 ASEAN countries apply pictorial health warnings (PHWs).
- Thailand leads with the largest PHWs.
- Legislated health warnings are applied to all forms of tobacco packaging among the ASEAN countries.
- All ASEAN countries ban adhesive labels, stickers, cases, covers, sleeves, wrapping and promotional inserts and onserts on tobacco products that can obscure, obliterate or undermine health warnings.
- Seven countries gave less than 10 months to the tobacco industry to comply with pictorial warnings.
- Enforcement authorities in seven ASEAN countries possess sufficient powers to order violators to recall non-compliant tobacco products.
- All ASEAN countries indicated that their health warning law or regulation needed to be reviewed and updated periodically.