On 14 December, 2018, a new regulation on plain cigarette packaging in Thailand was officially gazetted, making Thailand the first country in Asia and the first middle-income country to adopt plain packaging for tobacco products. Starting from 10 September, 2019, when the legislation will officially enter into force, all new tobacco products at sale will be required to meet the standards of plain packaging. Previous stock of non-standardized tobacco packs can be sold until 8 December, 2019.
Under the new regulation, the cigarette packs will be in drab brown color, free of brand logo or trademark, with brand name displayed in standardized font and size. Additionally, a new set of 10 pictorial health warnings will be released, which will be used on both sides of cigarette packages, covering 85% of front and back surfaces, together with textual warnings covering 60% of the side areas.
Plain packaging is an evidence-based policy, and is in line with the WHO FCTC Article 11. The adoption of plain packaging is expected to discourage tobacco smoking through reducing the attractiveness of tobacco products, increasing the noticeability of health warnings and eliminating the effects of tobacco packaging as a form of advertising. The new legislation will contribute to the control and prevention of tobacco use in the country, together with a series of measures in the Tobacco Products Control Act 2017, such as the ban on single stick sale, increased penalty for smoking in prohibited areas, and setting up a minimum age for purchasing tobacco.
Official gazette will be shared soon.