Proposal to Put Graphic Warning Labels on Alcohol in Thailand Leads to Strong Opposition


On February 28th, 2024, Mr. Taopiphop Limjittrakorn, a Move Forward Party MP, and relevant agencies received a letter from Mr. Charoen Charoenchai and representatives from the alcoholic beverage industry protesting against a draft announcement of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee regarding graphic packaging labels for alcoholic beverages.

Charoen expressed concern that the proposed labels, which mandate graphic health images like blackened livers, fatal car accidents, and dying patients and warning messages covering 30% to 50% of packaging surfaces, could have adverse effects on tourism. This would be similar to current rules on cigarette packaging in Thailand but would also apply to individual cans and bottles.

Charoen argued that such strict requirements could deter tourists, particularly those who enjoy nightlife and alcohol-related activities in Thailand. This, in turn, could potentially harm entertainment service providers in the tourism sector.

In response to the complaint, Taopiphop highlighted the importance of considering the impact on tourism, noting that Thailand relies heavily on its tourism industry for economic growth. He stated that stringent graphic packaging requirements could create a negative image of Thailand including hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

There were also concerns that luxury imported brands of alcohol, including fine wine, would be strongly against the labels for potentially hurting their brand image and could potentially stop selling their valued brands in Thailand.

Concerns were also raised on how such a proposal would raise operating costs for alcohol beverage sellers and discriminate against the struggling small Thai beverage and craft industry who relied on unique art and designs for their products.

Taopiphop further mentioned that the Thai Minister of Public Health Cholnan Srikaew’s supervision of public servants was questionable, especially as the Thai cabinet reshuffle was close to approving a law on alcohol control for introduction to the Parliament next month.

The Move Forward Party proposed amendments to the current Alcohol Control Act, believing that public servants should not create their regulations, as it went against legal principles and ethics, remarked Taopiphop.

Initially, it was reported that the packaging labels for alcoholic beverages would not be enforced immediately as feedback was open for consideration, stated Taopiphop.

This article originally appeared on our sister website The Pattaya News.

Kittisak Phalaharn
Kittisak has a passion for outgoings no matter how tough it will be, he will travel with an adventurous style. As for his interests in fantasy, detective genres in novels and sports science books are parts of his soul. He works for Pattaya News as the latest writer.