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Monday, September 2, 2013

Thailand loses its first round court battle over health warnings on cigarette packs


IP Komodo has been following the various tobacco companies' fights with SE Asian governments to prevent their packs being overrun with health warnings at the expense of their brands.

Thailand had proposed such restrictions - see here. Philip Morris filed a case in June 2013 in the Central Administrative Court against the Health Ministry over new regulations which increased the health warning component to 85% of a pack. Last Friday the court ruled in PM's favour. 

There are other cases pending brought by the Thai Tobacco Trade Association, a retailers' trade group as well as by JTI.  Retailers often see these rules as harmful as they have the effect of preventing consumers making choices, and ultimately reducing sales.

The Thai government plans to appeal.  Since the PM case was based on failure to properly consult, these rules are by no means dead yet.

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