UAE - cigarette pack graphic warnings

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February 11, 2010 - People can expect to see these pictures, acquired exclusively by Khaleej Times, on cigarette packets and other tobacco products as soon as the Emirates Standardisation and Metrology Authority (ESMA) finalises the standardised packaging procedures being implemented GCC-wide.

On January 6, 2010 President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued federal anti-tobacco law..
The graphics that will replace the written word will be revised every one to two years. Nearly half of the cigarette pack will be covered by the pictures. Though the pictures are intended to deliver a strong message and de-motivate smokers, the graphics approved for the region are less dramatic.

“We have selected these carefully so that we do not hurt the sensibilities of the people in this region,” said Dr Wedad Al Maidoor, head of the UAE National Committee for Tobacco Control in the ministry. The UAE has taken permission to use pictures provided by Canada’s health authorities for two years since local pictures were not available.

A total of 23 countries in the world now include pictorial health warnings, with messages reaching more than 700 million people. In the eastern Mediterranean region, pictorial warnings are found in Egypt, Jordan, Iran and Djibouti.

Other than packaging, levels of nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide in each cigarette brand are being checked and cannot exceed the maximum set of international standards, said Engineer Mohamed Badri, Acting Director General of ESMA.

Reference: Picture this and Stop Smoking, Asma Ali Zain (, Khaleej Times, 2/10/2010.

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