Bangkok Central Administrative Court blocked introduction of what would be the world’s largest graphic cigarette pack warnings, granting a Philip Morris Thailand (PMTL) request for an injunction pending full judicial review, the cigarette maker said.
“This is a welcome departure from the Ministry of Public Health, which wilfully, and in violation of Thai due process requirements, ignored the voices of thousands of retailers, manufacturers and many other impacted stakeholders when it first issued this notification,” PMTL said in a statement. “Today’s decision now clears the way for us to show the Court that this measure is not only illegal but also unnecessary given that the health risks of smoking are universally known in Thailand.”
Health officials wanted to introduce graphic warnings on 85 per cent of the front and back of cigarettes this October. The warnings would have been the world’s largest in terms of front/back average, which at 85 per cent would be bigger than number two Australia's 82.5 per cent. The proposal is opposed by a coalition of interest groups, including the Thai Tobacco Trade Association and Japan Tobacco.
PMTL said the injunction is the first step in a process expected to take more than one year.