Imported tobacco products must have graphic health warning on packages starting with today. One of three approved images will occupy half the space on both sides of a cigarette package. A third of the remaining space will display a written warnings. The new packaging has been introduced across the GCC in an effort to stop teenagers from becoming addicted to smoking tobacco, declared Dr Wedad Al Maidoor, head of the smoking control committee at the Ministry of Health. “Teen smokers will finally start to think about the dangers of smoking cigs and either cut down the number of cigs they are smoking every day.”
Dr. Al Maidoor argued that the graphics would also prevent tobacco industries from using packs for to advertise their tobacco product.
“With their packaging, they are tricking the clients into thinking that smoking is something that is very cool and stylish, that it is an important part of their life. Now this will be taken very very seriously. The graphic warnings cannot be removed or peeled off because it is a part of the pack.”
There are also new suggestions for plain packaging, where nothing but the graphic picture will be in colour and the smoking brand name will be meaningly smaller.
Smokers may not see the new pack designs for a while, with tobacco sellers given several months to complete the ordinances. Existing cigarettes stock will continue to be sold until they are emptied, which is expected to take about three months, concluded Abdulla Al Muaini of the Emirates Standardisation and Metrology Authority, which is in charge of the new pack design.