Starting from December next year, the Korean government will require all cigarette makers to label packs and boxes with graphic health warning images.
The health ministry said Wednesday that specific regulations have been set in the revised National Health Promotion Act which was enacted in May this year.
Under the new law, graphic warning labels must cover at least thirty percent of the main front and back surfaces.
Combined with text warnings, the label should take up no less than fifty percent of the pack’s design.
With this policy, Korea will follow the provisions of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control which requires member nations to cover at least 30 percent of the main surfaces with strong and graphic warnings.
In the last decade, almost 70 parties of the convention adopted pictorial warning policies, each with varying standards on the size of the labels.
Among them, Thailand requires the highest percentage of warning label coverage at 85 percent on both front and back surfaces.
Australia comes second with a quota of 75 percent for the front and 90 percent for the back.
In Korea, the labeling regulations will be applied on all types of tobacco related products, including e-cigarettes, pipes, cigars, chewing and smokeless tobacco, each with their own relevant warnings according to their respective health risks.