New Delhi: Union health ministry of India on Wednesday left country’s tobacco companies in complete flurry by passing a rule of placing pictorial health warnings across 85 per cent of the surface of cigarette packs and other products. The rule will be in effect from 1st April by the next year, when the rule is placed in effect,  India will join countries like Thailand and Australia that have stringent tobacco marketing rules.

Tobacco and India: Fact Check

According to the government report of the year 2010, approximately 9,00,000 Indians die every year of diseases related to tobacco use, the government said in 2010. If the trend continues, the number could reach 1.5 million by 2020, International Tobacco Control Project estimates.

A Picture Speaks Thousand Words!
Besides illustrations showing the negative effects of smoking, packets will be required to carry the word “WARNING” and the phrase “Smoking causes throat cancer”, the Health Ministry said. Similar warnings would be required on other tobacco products.

The union health minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan said “This will tell each and everyone, including potential users of cigarettes, that tobacco means nothing else except death. The war against tobacco consumption is very important for everybody to win.”

Current Rule for Tobacco Marketing
Currently only 20 per cent of the surface is covered in warnings, according to a recent report which according to the government, is not sufficient to depict the real picture of tobacco effect on consumers.

Let’s hope that the new rule will help our people to quit tobacco and ultimately help us achieve the goal of Tobacco Free India.

[source:reuters.com]

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