National

Japan to use larger health warning labels on packs of cigarettes

JIJI

The Finance Ministry plans to expand the size of health warning labels on cigarette packs, sources with knowledge of the matter said Thursday.

It plans to implement the change before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, the sources said. The move is designed to increase people’s awareness of the health hazards related to smoking. The ministry’s move also takes into consideration visitors to Japan.

The Fiscal System Council, which advises the finance minister, was expected to discuss the matter Friday.

Currently, makers are obliged to display health warnings on both the front and the back of cigarette packages. The warnings must cover 30 percent or more of the surface of the cigarette pack on both sides. The ministry plans to raise the percentage to 50 percent or more, the sources said. It also plans to make the health warnings more easy to comprehend by adding extra information such as recent medical findings.

The ministry will also create a new mandatory warning for heat-not-burn tobacco products, which are becoming more popular.

GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5