Deferment of pictorial warnings on tobacco items challenged

December 13th, 2010 - 9:07 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 13 (IANS) A petition challenging the government decision postponing the implementation of the new pictorial warnings on tobacco products by a year has been filed in the Supreme Court, an NGO said Monday. Earlier, the notification of the new pictorial warnings was supposed to be implemented Dec 1 this year.

“An interim application has been filed by Health for Millions (HFM) Trust seeking that the government of India implement the notification dated May 17, 2010 immediately by ensuring that the tobacco products sold in the markets after December 1, 2010 have the new pictorial warnings affixed on them as described by the notification,” the trust said in a statement.

A member of the trust said: “As per the 2008 Rules, the pictorial warnings have to be rotated every year or earlier as decided by the Union of India. The purpose being that the consumer does not get accustomed to seeing the same warnings as the warnings would then fail to have the dissuading effect”.

“The 2010 Rules notification says that tobacco packages will have a pictorial warning depicting a mouth affected by cancer with the warning ‘Tobacco causes cancer’. However instead of bringing into force June 1, the government postponed it to December 1, 2010. Then on Dec 7, the cabinet took the decision to defer the pictorial warnings by a year,” the trust official added.

“The pictorial warnings have been deliberately delayed to unduly favour the tobacco industry for their products at the cost of the health of the consumers,” the official alleged.

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