VIENTIANE, April 27 (Xinhua) -- The Lao Ministry of Health (MoH) has said as of May 1, all cigarette products of all brands, either domestically made or imported for commercial purposes in Laos, must be affixed with health warnings covering 75 percent of the packaging.
"If we find violations of this regulation, the violators will be warned, have their products seized, fined or have their business license suspended," Phat Keungsaneth, head of the Secretariat to the National Tobacco Control Committee, said on Thursday.
"We expect that in three months, cigarette products circulated in the market that are yet to be labeled with health warnings will disappear and replaced with those with pictorial warnings affixed on the packaging."
Phat said as other countries that signed the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control have done similarly, the move will promote public awareness of health hazards and the menace of smoking cigarettes and inhaling secondhand smoke.
"These efforts will help the government inspect and prevent smuggled cigarettes and promote health protection among the general public, especially from non-communicable diseases," Lao News Agency quoted Phat as saying.