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Jakarta Post

Plain packaging accelerates an end to tobacco epidemic

  • Bobby Ramakant

    New Delhi

New Delhi   /   Mon, July 6 2020   /  01:00 am
Illustration of tobacco control.(JP/Budhi Button)

Despite the indisputable scientific evidence that tobacco kills, the tobacco industry has been conniving to use every trick possible to protect and increase its profits. Over 8 million people die of tobacco use worldwide every year. More worrying is the emerging scientific evidence that diseases of which tobacco is a common major risk factor, are dangerously elevating the risk of serious outcomes of COVID-19 (including death). One glimmer of hope in these difficult times, of public health emergency and cascading humanitarian and economic crisis, came from Singapore: plain packaging of all tobacco products came into immediate effect from July 1, thereby joining two more nations in Asia Pacific that have enforced plain packaging earlier: Australia (2012) and Thailand (2019). The Singapore Ministry of Health says that plain packaging (or standardized packaging) of "tobacco produc...