New health warnings for all tobacco products
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on 4 May 2020 issued two new sets of health warnings for all tobacco product packs. For this, the ministry made some amendments in the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2008. The new rules will be applicable from September 1, 2020.
- The first set of images will be valid for a period of twelve months following its commencement from 1st September, 2020.
- The second set of images will come into effect following the end of twelve months from the date of commencement of specified health warning of the first set of images.
- In a statement, the ministry said that all tobacco products manufactured or imported or packaged after September 1 will display the first set of images and those manufactured or imported or packaged after September 1, 2021 will display the second set of images.
- Any person engaged directly or indirectly in the manufacture, 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 health ministry said in a statement along with a new set of images that says — Tobacco Causes Painful Deaths.
- The ministry has also made it clear that any violation of new rules will invite imprisonment or fine as prescribed in section 20 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003.
- The definition of "package" has been amended to be in conformity with the Act and the Rules made there under. According to experts, around 12 lakh deaths occur every year in India due to tobacco usage.
- The use of tobacco is responsible for nearly 50 per cent of all cancers in India and 90 per cent of mouth cancers.
- As per the rules laid down under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, during the rotation period of 24 months, two images of specified health warnings as notified in the Schedule shall be displayed on all tobacco product packages and each of the images shall appear consecutively on the package with an interregnum period of 12 months.