Bigger gory images on cigarette packs to be used after review
There is a trend for countries to use graphic pictures to show health effects of smoking
The pictorial warnings on Kenyan cigarette packets are too small compared to the global average, a new report shows.
The images cover only about 40 per cent of the local packet. They also appear on the bottom of packets, contrary to a World Health Organization recommendation that the cigarette logo should be placed below.
The findings imply tobacco firms could be having an easier time marketing cigarettes in Kenya, yet they are still opposed to the images.
The findings are contained in the Cigarette Package Health Warnings: International Status Report, which ranks countries on the size of their health warnings.
“In total 94 countries/jurisdictions have required warnings to cover at least 50 per cent of the package front and back (on average),” says the report.
Kenya is number 110 among 152 countries ranked according to the size of the pictorial warnings.
The Health ministry is expected to review the current images, introduced in September, and introduce larger ones after six months.
“There is a powerful, worldwide trend for countries to use graph- ic pictures on cigarette packages to show the devastating health effects of smoking, and to require plain packaging,” says Rob Cunningham, senior policy analyst, Canadian Cancer Society, who released the report in India at the COP7 meeting of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
The WHO recommends more than 50 per cent pictorial warning on the front and back. Director of Medical Services Jackson Kioko said Kenya had made a good start. “Sixty per cent of smokers thought of quitting because of health warning labels on packaging. We believe this move will dissuade even the youth from engaging in early smoking,” he said.
A smoker puffs at a cigarette.The Health ministry is expected to review the current warning images, introduced in September