Hong Kong government’s stance on tobacco health warnings goes against WHO guidelines

The Hong Kong government has proposed to amend health warnings on tobacco packets to comply with World Health Organisation standards and international practices.

A better-known proposal among the public is to increase the size of warnings to 85 per cent of the surface of tobacco packets. But what is intriguing is the government’s insistence on retaining the display of the tar and nicotine yields, despite international guidelines and expert advice.

Under the WHO guidelines for implementing Article 11 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, contracting parties (including Hong Kong) should not require quantitative statements on product packaging and labelling about tobacco constituents and emissions that might imply that one brand is less harmful than another, such as the tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide figures.
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