Stronger warning labels on cigarette packs in place

21 June 2020

Yonhap: The Korean Herald,

South Korea will require stronger graphic warning images on cigarette packs as part of its anti-smoking campaign, the health ministry said Sunday.

Of the 12 photos currently used on packs, nine will be replaced with new images starting Dec. 23, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

Warning images showcasing the heightened risk of laryngeal cancer, sexual dysfunction and dangers posed by electronic cigarettes will be retained as they have been shown to be effective in enhancing risk awareness it said.

The new images will highlight the greater chances of smokers contracting lung and oral cancer, heart disease, stroke and early death, as well as the dangers of secondhand smoking and smoking during pregnancy.

Under the rules, 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 used to discourage smoking will also be altered to be more concise.

The latest decision comes after Seoul said in April it will change the images and warnings on cigarette packs. It asked the general public to provide feedback on the images and warnings it will use, with one photo on indirect smoking being changed in the process.