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Cigarette packaging in the near future will be plain and much less attractive under a new regulation approved by the National Tobacco Products Control Committee.
Public Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsattayathorn said Wednesday that the plain packaging would replace the current packaging which has been used for more than five years and has become familiar with smokers and non-smokers alike to the extent that it is no longer effective in discouraging people from smoking or making people realize health threats from cigarette smoking.
In accordance with the new regulation, he said that the plain packaging will be standard and to be applied to all brands of cigarette.
He added that colorful or appealing packaging will not be allowed as it is regarded as marketing of cigarettes.
Minister Piyasakol said that the introduction of plain packaging regulation would make Thailand the first country in Asia and the 11th in the world that adopts this kind of packaging to discourage cigarette smoking.
Australia was the first country that enforces plain packaging and the latest country was Mauritius.
Dr Chayanan Sitthiboot, director of the Tobacco Consumption Control Office, said cigarette manufacturers would be given one year to make preparations to change the packaging.