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Tobacco plain packaging becomes a global trend
According to Cigarette Package Health Warning: International Status Report published by Canadian Cancer Society in October 2018, over 118 countries/territories have adopted pictorial health warnings in which 9 have confirmed to implement plain packaging.

The report revealed that the number of countries/territories requiring picture health warning has been increasing from 100 in 2016 to 118 in 2018. Specifically, the warning size of package in 55 countries/territories is at least 65% (on average) of the package front and back. The highest ranked country by warning size is Timor-Leste (92.5%), followed by Nepal (90%), Vanuatu (90%) and New Zealand (87.5%). Hong Kong has fully adopted new pictorial health warnings since June 2018 and ranked the fifth position (85%) together with India and Thailand.

Australia has become the first country to fully adopt plain packaging in 2012 and a drop in smoking prevalence was resulted. To encourage other countries to implement the same measure, World Health Organization (WHO) designated plain packaging as the theme of World No Tobacco Day 2016. It is becoming a growing trend in the globe with 9 countries (Australia, France, the United Kingdom, Norway, Ireland, New Zealand, Hungary, Uruguay and Slovenia) have introduced and 16 are working on this measure.

According to WHO, plain packaging can effectively reduce the promotional effect and the attractiveness of tobacco products, boost up the effectiveness of the health warnings, and motivate smokers to quit. COSH urges the Hong Kong Government to review the effectiveness of the new pictorial health warnings duly and implement the plain packaging of the tobacco products so as to reduce the tobacco use in Hong Kong.

Source: Canadian Cancer Society and Cigarette Package Health Warning: International Status Report
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