Simple pictorial warnings on tobacco packs, say ministers

February 26th, 2008 - 9:30 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Anbumani Ramadoss

New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS) Packs of cigarette and beedi or hand-rolled cigars will carry pictorial warnings but not grisly depictions of mouth ulcerations due to cancer, a group of ministers decided after a meeting here Tuesday evening. The ministers also decided that the size and the picture content - of a scorpion or lung - would be decided later.

“There will be no more GoMs (group of minister meetings) on this issue. We collectively agreed that pictorial warnings will be carried on beedi, cigarette and all tobacco products,” said Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi after the meeting, which began Tuesday 5.50 p.m. and ended at 7 p.m.

Dasmunsi said the information and broadcasting ministry would decide on the picture and the size - either 30 percent or 40 percent coverage of the packet - and forward it to chairman of the GoM Pranab Mukherjee next week. This would be done in consultation with Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss, said Dasmunsi.

A visibly downcast Ramadoss said: “The pictures will be visible on the front of the pack. The industry will be given time after the notification, which will take at least two-three months.”

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