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Saturday, May 28, 2011

New warnings on tobacco packs from December 1 in India

After a delay of nearly a year, the Indian health ministry has approved harsher pictorial warnings for cigarettes and chewing tobacco products to be implemented from December this year.
[ Image: Indian actress Asin smoking ]

The Centre has notified the new pictorial warnings for being printed on packages of smoking and chewable tobacco products.

The notification, which was issued on Friday (27-May-2011) and which will take effect from December 1 this year, provides for strong pictorial warnings for smoking (cigarettes, bidis, and cigars) and smokeless or chewable forms of tobacco products, including gutka.

The health ministry notification has cleared a set of four pictures depicting lung and oral cancer for all tobacco product packages — smoking and smokeless (chewing) forms. The pictures will be accompanied by the ‘smoking kills’ sign. The warnings will be rotated every two years from December, in sync with the industry view. Earlier, the government had sought to rotate these pictorial warnings every year, but the industry lobby protested against it, saying unsold stock may go waste.

Health minister of India, Ghulam Nabi Azad, said the pictorial warnings on chewing tobacco will be very severe as it is found that chewing tobacco causes more health harm than smoking tobacco.

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