The size of the warnings, which are dominated by scary photos that show the unhealthy consequences of smoking, will be expanded to cover 85 per cent of the pack, up from the current 55 per cent, Public Health Minister Pradit Sinthawanarong said yesterday.
After a meeting with national tobacco control board, Pradit said the board agreed to issue a ministerial declaration to increase the size of the warnings.
There will be 10 picture warnings showing in graphic detail the consequences of smoking, including laryngeal cancer, heart failure, stroke, oral cancer, sexual dysfunction, lung cancer, emphysema and chronic bad breath.
The declaration will come into effect 180 days after publication in the Royal Gazette.
Worldwide, 63 countries have picture warnings on cigarette packs. In Australia, the warnings cover 82.5 per cent of the pack. Uruguay and Sri Lanka have 80 per cent, and Brunei and Canada 75 per cent. In Southeast Asia, only Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore have the picture warnings. Thailand became the fourth country in the world to do so, starting in 2005.