From September 1st, 2019, new tobacco new sets of specified health warnings issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, for all tobacco product packs will be implemented. The Ministry notified new sets of specified health warnings for all tobacco product packs by making an amendment in the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Rules, 2008 vide GSR 331(E) dated 3rd April 2018 “Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Second Amendment Rules, 2018”. The amended Rules are applicable w.e.f. 1st September 2018.
This decision of the Ministry has been applauded by Consumer VOICE and its state partners. Shri Ashim Sanyal, COO, Consumer VOICE said “In a country like India, where people use several languages and dialects, the pictorial warning transcend the language and, in many cases, also the illiteracy barrier. Quit-line number is a better way of quitting tobacco addiction, and effective prevention for younger generation who initiate tobacco use.”
As per the recent second round of Global Adult Tobacco Survey [GATS-2, 2016-17] conducted in the age group 15 years and above, 61.9% of current cigarette smokers, 53.8% of current bidi smokers and 46.2% of current smokeless tobacco users thought about quitting because of warning label on packets of cigarette, bidi and smokeless tobacco.
As per the notification, during the rotation period 2 images of specified health warnings as notified in the schedule shall be displayed on all tobacco product packages the image would be rotated by a new set of images after the completion of twelve months from the date of commencement of first image.
Two images were notified vide the above notification with a clause that date of coming into effect of the second image (image 2) of specified health warning, shall be for all tobacco products manufactured or imported after the completion of twelve months from the date of commencement of first image (image 1).
Image-1 of the said notification came into effect from 1st September, 2018 and as such all tobacco products manufactured or packaged or imported on or after 1st September, 2019 shall display Image-2.
Telephone Quit-line number “QUIT TODAY CALL 1800-11-2356” is also the part of the health warning. This helps in creating awareness among tobacco users, and gives them access to counselling services to affect behaviour changes. There shall be one common specified health warning for both smoking and smokeless forms of tobacco products.
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