Pictorial warnings on all tobacco products

DUBAI — All tobacco products will carry a mix of strong pictorial warnings from February 2009 before hitting the market in the UAE, according to a senior health official.


Asma Ali Zain

Published: Fri 18 Jul 2008, 1:39 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 6:13 PM

The decision is applicable to all GCC countries.

Bahrain had announced on Tuesday that tobacco firms would be forced to print pictures of damaged organs, such as lungs and hearts, on cigarette packs in order to get entry into the GCC market.

Dr Wedad Maidoor, head of the UAE National Committee for Tobacco Control in the Ministry of Health, told Khaleej Times yesterday that the GCC countries had decided to adopt this practice of the World Health Organisation's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) earlier this year.

"The final decision on when, and what kind of pictures should be used is pending with the Arab Health Council in Saudi Arabia that is heading the project," she explained.

However, the UAE has taken permission to go ahead and use pictures provided by Canada's health authorities for two years since local pictures were not available.

"We were required to provide at least eight images as local examples but not enough are available in the UAE. Only a few pictures were collected from Al Tawam Hospital in Al Ain and Dubai's Rashid Hospital," she added.

"Printing images of real people on tobacco products is aimed at scaring smokers," explained Dr Wedad.

Tobacco companies would also require the MoH's opinion before marketing their products. Several countries such as Australia, Canada and Brazil are already following these regulations.

The UAE Federal Cabinet had passed the anti-tobacco law last month.

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