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Thai youth ask the tobacco industry to withdraw lawsuit against new pictorial health warnings

1 Aug, 13 | by Marita Hefler, News Editor

Update: On 1 August, 140 youth and students held a protest rally at the World Trade Centre in Bangkok, location of the Philip Morris International offices, to show support for 85% pictorial warnings, and to symbolise “140 deaths from tobacco use every day” in the country.

View a video of the rally here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXsWjL8VplE

youth rally bkk5

Open letter

1 August 2013

To:  Manager of Philip Morris International (Thailand) Limited and Manager of Japan Tobacco International (Thailand) Limited

Subject:  Request to withdraw the lawsuit against Ministry of Public Health on the regulation requiring 85% pictorial health warning on cigarette packages

Due to the lawsuit filed by your company against Ministry of Public Health Thailand on the case of 85% pictorial health warning on cigarette packages regulation at the Administrative Court, we, Youth Network in Thailand, would like to request you to withdraw this current lawsuit against Ministry of Public Health Thailand.

We are well aware that you have great concern of decreased cigarette sales volume as a result of 85% pictorial health warning regulation. This is because the new warning will provide clearer facts to consumers. In particular, it will raise awareness on Thai children and youth, who are your targets, not to initiate smoking. You should be fully aware that in 2011, there are already 2,200,000 Thai children and youth who are your current customers, not to include 10 million of adult customers. Your company will continue to gain major profit from them in many decades.

You may need to ask yourself whether your effort to avoid compliance to Thai domestic law by filing the lawsuit against Ministry of Public Health, in order to increase sales volume of your products by attracting more children and youth to become your customers in the replacement of those who already died or in illness, is ethical practice.

We believe that you have enough expertise to initiate other business that benefits children and youth development including your own children. Youth always welcome new innovation but not for cigarettes that kill its consumers.

On behalf of the youth network, we would like to request you to withdraw the lawsuit against Ministry of Public Health Thailand on the case of 85% pictorial health warning on cigarette packages regulation, and request you to comply with the Tobacco Control Law of Thailand.

Yours Sincerely,

Mr.Chatchawan Monthatipkul

On behalf of the organizations as below:

Pak Dee Gang youth network,

Youth Network of Bangkok,

Youth Council of Satorn, Bangrak, Rajathevi, Watana, South Bangkok

Pharmacy Students ‘Union of Thailand,

Ya Mo Student in Public Health

Public Health and Health Sciences Students Association of Thailand,

Public health student, Network of Health Education and Behavioral Sciences Faculty Public Health Mahidol University,

Young Filmmakers of Thailand, Fongnom FILMS,

Network of Non Smoking generation /Teachers Networking for Smoke-Free Schools

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