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Coming soon: Thai booze with gross-out labelling

That says, "Tobacco smoke can kill people."

And if you've ever bought smokes in Thailand, you know it's one of the least disturbing images printed on cigarette packs here.

Under Thai law, cigarette labels must bear one of several gruesome images: a cancer-blackened lung, a hospitalized man fitted with tubes and wires, stained teeth in a mustache-lined mouth. (I actually kind of like the above image. Very Black Sabbath. Here are the others in case you're curious.)

The images, designed by the state-run Thailand Health Promotion Institute,  are meant to warn would-be smokers. Canada, Singapore and other countries force tobacco companies to include similar pictures on their labels.

Now the government is readying a new line-up of gross-out images — this time for containters of alcohol. Though they haven't been released yet, the Bangkok Post reports that the "pictures under consideration include patients suffering from liver cancer, road accidents and other crimes caused by alcohol."

This is part of a wider campaign against booze that seems to be intensifying.

In October, the public health ministry announced that vendors selling alcohol in gift baskets — forcing consumers to buy intoxicants, the ministry says — could face six months in prison. 

The ministry has also publicly considered banning alcohol sales on public holidays — perhaps in time for the week-long Songkran festival, in which it becomes socially acceptable to drink publicly and douse total strangers with buckets of water.

Restrictions on advertising also result in awkward beer ads, which are forbidden from showing beer or the drinking of said beer. One spot by Chang Beer — which produces a popular lager of above-average potency — depicts a guy en route to a party who casually thwarts a mugger, returns a lost wallet and flirts with an attractive girl. When he arrives to the shindig, all of his buddies are drinking water. (This is not at all intended to be funny.)

Empirical evidence suggests that these tough regulations haven't deterred the people of Bangkok from enjoying their Chang — often from three-liter chilled towers in neighborhood beer gardens.

I'm guessing they won't let a revolting label stop them either.