The tobacco industry will have to fork out at least $600 million if the government forces companies to carry graphic health warnings on cigarette packets, according to a trade organisation. But Soh Szu-wei, chairman of the newly established Tobacco Association of Hong Kong, said it would be up to individual companies to decide if the additional costs were passed on to consumers. Speaking at the association's launch yesterday, Mr Soh said the government had not been thorough in seeking the industry's views before gazetting the anti-smoking bill last Friday. Under the bill, tobacco products will have to bear graphic, pictorial health warnings occupying at least half the surface area of the packet. The association is seeking talks with Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food York Chow Yat-ngok.