Statutory Pictorial Warnings on Cigarettes and Tobacco products Implemented

In India, to discourage smokers and users of other tobacco products, rules/laws were formulated in the year 2006,making it compulsary for the manufacturers, to print pictorial warnings on Cigarettes and other tobacco products, under the “Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003”.

However its implementation was postponed thrice. Finally,it is being implemented on the “World No Tobacco Day”, on 31st May 2009, following a Supreme Court order, made on 6th May 2009.

Originally the pictures of “Skull and Bones” and “Dead Foetus” were suggested for printing on Cigarettes and other tobacco products. Now the manufacturers of cigarettes and other tobacco products must print on their products pictures of “Lungs and an x-ray” for cigarette packets and a “Scorpion” on others.
For violation of the above rules of printing pictorial warnings of tobacco products the manufacturers, dealers, distributors and retail sellers will be prosecuted with fine and imprisonment. For repeated violation of the rules the punishments will be more severe. However, it has to be seen how effectively the rule/law is going to be implemented in the days to come.

Experts feel that the printing of pictorial warnings will definitely have a good effect in discouraging the use of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

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