BANGKOK (AP) — Tobacco giant Philip Morris has won a small victory in Thailand to delay plans for larger warnings on cigarette packs.
The company praised a Thai court's decision to temporarily suspend an Oct. 2 government deadline for new warning labels that would cover 85 percent of cigarette packets.
Currently, warning messages take up 55 percent of Thai cigarette packages.
In a statement issued late Monday, Phillip Morris said the regulation is illegal and "unnecessary given that the risks associated with smoking are known universally in Thailand" and there is no proof that large health warnings are effective.
The injunction will stay in place pending a lawsuit by Philip Morris and more than 1,400 Thai retailers trying to overturn the regulation.
About 50,000 people die from smoking-related diseases each year in Thailand.