GCC to roll out new graphic warnings on tobacco products

In an effort to discourage smoking across the region, a GCC-wide ban on tobacco products that don’t contain new graphic warnings will take effect on Thursday, media reports state. 

Qatar will begin to require the warnings, similar to those used in the UK and other countries, next week.

They include five images of damaged lungs and jaws for cigarette packets and three images for sheesha products and must occupy at least half of the front and back of a pack, Gulf Times reports. 

It adds that the warnings will be both in English and Arabic and:

Shall be written in such a way that it is difficult to remove them in any way, and so that the text is not hidden or concealed or overlapping with other text or image, and so that it is not affected by opening the package. Both warnings must be surrounded by a black frame that is 1 mm thick.

They were supposed to be rolled out earlier this year, but tobacco importers were given a grace period to meet the new requirement.

Region-wide, warehouses will also receive an extra three months to clear out inventory that does not contain the warnings.

So likely, we won’t be seeing any of the new packaging until the end of the year here.

More than a third of Qatar’s residents are smokers.

The country has already banned smoking in offices and public places, sale of tobacco products near schools and other educational institutions, though the problem of smoking in malls persists.

What do you think?

Will these new warnings make a difference?

Credit: Photo courtesy of TobaccoReviews.net

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