Indonesia has become the latest country to mandate graphic photo warnings on cigarette packs, joining more than 40 other nations
The warnings, which consist of hard-hitting close-up images include rotting teeth, cancerous lungs and even corpses.The tobacco industry has fought government efforts to introduce or increase the size of graphic warnings in some countries.Indonesia has the world’s highest rate of male smokers at 67% and the second-highest rate overall. Its government is among the few that has yet to sign a World Health Organization treaty on tobacco control. Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation says a number of countries across the Pacific are considering following in Australia’s footsteps and introducing plain packaging of cigarettes.
The WHO is set to join governments across the region in a major drive to make the Pacific tobacco free within 10 years.The WHO Pacific coordinator of non-communicable diseases, Dr Temo Waqanivalu, says the project will be launched in Honiara in two weeks and plain packaging is among the tactics being considered.
“The actual measure itself is something that’s greatly supported and there are a few countries that are ahead of the game, (they) are actually talking of moving there now,”
Dr Waqanivalu told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat.
“They’ve done the graphic warnings on the packets so the next step after that is to actually move towards plain packaging.”
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