Centre has devised a new way to dissuade consumers from using tobacco products. Union Health Ministry on Monday released two sets of images with enhanced pictorial warnings printed on packets of cigarette and other tobacco products.
According to the official statement, all packs of tobacco products must have “tobacco causes cancer” and “tobacco causes painful death” written in white on a red background, and the words “quit today call 1800-11-2356” in white on a black background along with the pictorial warning.
The first set will be used on tobacco products from September 1, 2018, for a period of 12 months, after which the second set of images will be used.
“All tobacco products manufactured or imported or packaged on or after 1st September, 2018 shall display Image -1 and those manufactured or imported or packaged on or after 1st September, 2019 shall display Image-2. Any person engaged directly or indirectly in the production, supply, import or distribution of cigarettes or any tobacco products shall ensure that all tobacco product packages shall have the specified health warnings exactly as prescribed,” the ministry said in a statement.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled that tobacco products would continue to carry pictorial warning covering 85 per cent of the packaging space. The apex court in January had stayed the Karnataka High Court order quashing the 2014 government regulation that packets of tobacco products must carry pictorial warning covering 85 per cent of the packaging space.
The health ministry also maintains pictorial health warnings on the packs of tobacco products are the most cost-effective tool for educating people on the health risks of tobacco use. A study by the National Council of Applied Economic Research shows about 46% of illiterate men smoke, whereas only 16% of college graduates are hooked to tobacco, Times of India reported.