Nepal: 90% pictorial health warnings implemented

The Government announced in October 2015 that tobacco packages in Nepal will carry pictorial health warnings covering 90% of the main surface areas, up from the previous 75%.

Nepal’s pictorial warnings are the largest in the world; by size, the Nepalese warnings are followed by Australia’s (82.5% in average, but please note than Australia has implemented ‘plain’ packaging). Thailand and Uruguay require 80-85% warning size.

This is a strong measure which is in line with the requirements of Article 11 of the Convention and its implementation guidelines. Nepal is a Party to the Convention since 2007.

Around 38 per cent of men and 17 per cent of women in Nepal smoke tobacco daily, and almost 16,000 people in Nepal die every year from tobacco-related causes.

“The 90 percent pictorial health warnings in Nepal will strengthen regional and global motivation and commitment to making more progressive efforts at the country and regional level,” said Singh Bam. “It also gives the strong message that a life-saving public health agenda will always win the fight against the corporate interests of the giant tobacco industry and business groups.”

“In implementing 90 per cent graphic health warnings, Nepal sets a powerful example to other countries in the region in standing up against tobacco industry interference,” said Dr Ehsan Latif, Director of The Union’s Department of Tobacco Control. “This strong stance will hopefully motivate its neighbours, India and Pakistan, who are currently battling to have similar laws implemented. Tobacco industry obstruction is fierce because this measure is so effective.” The Union, an Observer to the Conference of the Parties, has been supporting the Nepalese government to develop and implement its tobacco control strategy since 2009. 

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