The Finance Ministry is considering requiring tobacco firms to print a stricter health warning on cigarette packs to bring Japan in line with other countries where smokers are warned about lung cancer and other maladies.

Tobacco firms are currently required to print that smokers “should be careful of smoking too much because it can be harmful to your health.”

In contrast, the warning notices in the United States, Europe and many other parts of Asia are more directly linked to lung cancer, problems for pregnant woman, addiction and other health problems.

The Finance Ministry plans to set up a working group as early as next month under its tobacco business advisory panel to discuss a revision to the current requirement governing the warning notice, ministry officials said this week.

The revision would be the first since 1990.

In a report issued last October, the tobacco business advisory panel said the current warning no longer gets the attention of smokers and urged the government to review the notice.

In a related development, the World Health Organization on Wednesday released a new draft on an antismoking treaty that requires labeling that shows a clear-cut link between smoking and its impact on health.

The Japanese government, however, has opposed moves within the WHO to ban cigarette advertising and selling cigarettes from vending machines.

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