Tobacco firms can paste health warnings on packs

October 16th, 2008 - 11:27 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 16 (IANS) The health ministry Thursday modified the packaging and labelling rules for tobacco products and allowed manufacturers to paste health warnings on tobacco packets.”Pursuant to representations from various industries’ federations, the packaging and labelling rules have now been reviewed. It is now permissible to paste the specified health warnings (in the form of a sticker) on the retail packages of tobacco products,” a ministry statement said.

“It has also been clarified that the specified health warnings will not be required to be pasted or affixed on packages such as gunny bags,” it added.

Pictorial health warnings on tobacco packs will come into force in India from Dec 1.

The health ministry has asked all tobacco manufacturers to portray lacerated cancerous graphics on 40 percent of the packet space to create awareness among users about the ill-effects of smoking.

The rules have been further modified allowing health warnings to be written in regional languages. “However, if more than one language(s) is used on the pack, the specified warning shall appear in two languages; one in which the brand name appears and the other in the local language of the area where the product is sold.”

The ministry said the amendment rules largely redresses the grievances of various industrial associations including the All India Bidi Industries Federation.

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