Graphic health warnings being planned for cigarette packets should cover only one side of the box to keep the brand intact on the other side, tobacco giant Philip Morris has suggested. The call marks a last-ditch effort by the firm to change the government's anti-smoking measures, gazetted last month. The Health, Welfare and Food Bureau's anti-smoking bill will force tobacco companies to print six health warnings, on a rotating basis, on at least half of the front and back of cigarette packets. There is a 12-month grace period, which Philip Morris wants extended to 18 months. Its corporate affairs manager for Hong Kong and Macau, Rebecca Ng Yuen-man, said the firm wanted to keep its trademark intact as it was one of its most valuable assets. She said the company preferred the approach taken in Brazil, where the pictorial warnings wholly cover one side of the packet. Ms Ng said the warnings would be eye-catching enough to draw the attention of smokers. 'It is also to make sure that our customers can easily recognise our trademark. We have invested a lot in designing and establishing our trademark ... we hope that the government would understand how important it is to us,' Ms Ng said. The tobacco firm said it submitted the proposal to the bureau in November and was hoping to meet officials again to reiterate its views. But anti-smoking advocate Anthony Hedley, a community medicine professor at the University of Hong Kong, said the government should ignore any such counter proposals by the tobacco industry. '[If] they worry so much about their trademark, it means that we are on the right track,' Professor Hedley said. 'There should be no scope whatsoever for Philip Morris to interfere with the public health measures as [discouraging smoking] is an urgent and essential public health policy we have to carry out.'