This Southeast Asia Nation Will First to Introduce Standardised Tobacco Packaging In The Region
Singapore will be first country in Southeast Asia to introduce standardised packaging for tobacco, according to Australia's leading cancer charity, Cancer Council Australia.
The Council in a statement has congratulated the move by the Singaporean Ministry of Health to introduce standardised packaging and enlarged health warnings on tobacco products.
The new regulations to be applied on tobacco products sold in Singapore include size of mandatory graphic health warnings to be increased from the existing 50 per cent to cover 75 per cent of the packaging surface and all products will be required to be free from logos, colours, brand images and promotional.
Tobacco use is a major health issue in Singapore, despite its long history of strong tobacco control measures. More than 2,000 Singaporeans die prematurely from smoking-related diseases annually and one in five men in Singapore smoke daily, a statement said.
Chair of Tobacco Issues Committee, Cancer Council Australia, Paul Grogan said in 2012, Australia became the first country in the world to introduce standardised or plain packaging and since then, it has exceeded expectations in reducing smoking rates.
“In its first three years, plain packaging contributed to a 25 per cent reduction in smoking rates in Australia and we hope that through these new measures Singapore will be able to achieve similar results,” added Grogan.
These measures are also in line with Singapore's obligations as a party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
Singapore Health Promotion Board and Ministry of Health should be commended for promoting a comprehensive set of supporting measures to support standardised packagings such as tobacco tax, cessation support and advertising bans, the council said.
Countries in South-East Asia are welcomed to take Singapore's lead and introduce similar reform. Other countries to already adopt similar standardised packaging measures include France, the United Kingdom, Norway, Ireland, New Zealand and Hungary.