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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2374

Plain Packaging on cigarette packets in Sri Lanka?

By Manjari Peiris
Colombo, 17 April, (Asiantribune.com):

The Cabinet of Sri Lanka has approved a proposal submitted by the Minister of Health, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne to introduce plain packaging on tobacco products, says Minister of Health.

According to the WHO-Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the international tobacco control treaty, for which Sri Lanka is a Party, tobacco packaging and labeling policies have emerged as prominent and cost-effective tobacco control measures. Although packaging policies have primarily focused on health warnings, there is growing recognition of the importance of packaging as a marketing tool for the tobacco industry.

Evidence on plain packaging indicates three primary benefits such as increasing the effectiveness of health warnings, reducing false health beliefs about cigarettes, and reducing brand appeal especially among youth and young adults. Plain packaging regulations would be an effective tobacco control measure, particularly in jurisdictions with comprehensive restrictions on other forms of marketing.

Plain Packaging requires the removal of all branding (colours, imagery, corporate logos and trademarks, permitting manufacturers to print only the brand name in a mandated size, font and place on the pack, in addition to the health warnings and any other legally mandated information such as toxic constituents and tax-paid stamps. The appearance of all tobacco packs is standardized, including the colour of the pack.

The removal of branding on cigarette packaging aims to deter smoking by removal of positive associations of brands (including design and symbol) with the consumption of tobacco. It also aims to remove an available avenue of brand advertising for cigarette companies.

Australia was the first country in the world to introduce plain packaging, with all packets sold from 1 December 2012 being sold in logo-free, drab dark brown packaging. There has been opposition from tobacco companies to plain packaging laws, some of which have sued the Australian government. Since the Australian government won the court cases, several other countries have enacted plain packaging laws.

- Asian Tribune -

Plain Packaging on cigarette packets in Sri Lanka?
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