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S. Korea to change warning images on cigarette packs to better discourage smoking

All News 13:32 April 13, 2020

SEOUL, April 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korea plans to change most of the current graphic warning images used on cigarette packs to encourage smokers to quit, the health ministry said Monday.

Of the 12 photos currently used on packs, nine will be replaced with new images starting later this year, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare. The changes will go into effect on Dec. 23 and be maintained for the next two years.

Warning images showcasing heightened risk of laryngeal cancer, sexual dysfunction and dangers posed by electronic cigarettes will be retained, it said. Images showing a greater chance of smokers contracting lung and oral cancer, heart disease, stroke and early death are set to be altered, along with images highlighting the dangers of secondhand smoking and smoking during pregnancy.

Under the regulations, 75 percent of a cigarette pack is required to be covered in warning images and text. Of the total, warning images must account for 55 percent of the packs, with both the front and back required to show graphic pictures. These images need to be revised every 24 months.

The text that used to discourage smoking will also be modified to be more easily read and send a clearer message regarding health risks.

This file photo released by the health ministry in July 2019 shows the heightened risk of smokers contracting oral cancer. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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