New pictorial health warnings covering 75% on both sides of packs must be affixed to all cigarette products of all brands, either domestically made or imported in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic starting 1 May 2017.
These rules are based on the “Law on Tobacco Control No. 1067” adopted on 23 May 2016 (http://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/legislation/country/laos/laws).
Through applying this measure the country complies with the requirements of Article 11 of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).
According to the Deputy Minister of Health Dr Bounkong Sihavong “majority of ASEAN member countries are already displaying photographic health warnings on tobacco packages. So this is a landmark move for the Ministry of Health.”
Dr Phath Keungsaneth, Head of the Secretariat to the National Tobacco Control Committee, highlighted the benefits of health warnings on cigarette products, saying that this move translates the obligation of the Government of Lao PDR, as Party to the WHO FCTC into reality, and promotes public awareness, especially among illiterate people and children, of health hazards and the menace of smoking and inhaling second-hand smoke.
In September 2014 the Convention Secretariat and its partners conducted a joint needs assessment mission to the country. One of the main recommendations of the needs assessment report was the introduction of large pictorial health warnings. (http://www.who.int/fctc/implementation/needs/Lao_Needs_assessment_report_english.pdf)
For further information, please contact Dr Phath Keungsaneth, tobacco control focal point for Lao PDR at firstname.lastname@example.org
Original source: Lao News Agency