New health warnings from 1 Dec

Tobacco and cigarette packs in India will display new health warnings from 1 December, reports mint.

Under the recently amended Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2008, new warnings and images will be displayed on the packs of all tobacco products. According to the ministry, two sets of warning messages and images will be used on both sides of the pack. In addition, the packs will also have a toll-free helpline, Quit Today Call Today (1800-11-2356), in white font on a black background.

“It’s a proven fact that the lives of tobacco users are shortened by up to 10 years, as compared to non-tobacco users. When the existing warning Tobacco causes painful death was introduced, I suggested adding the word ‘early’ before ‘painful’ to make the warning more impactful. The warnings play a significant role in helping tobacco users quit the habit, as per the latest GATS 2 report of 2016-17,” said Dr S.K. Arora, medical superintendent of the Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital and renowned tobacco control expert.
In the second round of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS -2, 2016-17), conducted for the age group 15 years and above, 61.9 per cent of cigarette and 53.8 per cent of bidi smokers and 46.2 per cent of smokeless tobacco users were considering quitting because of the warning label on packs. The figure is significantly higher compared to the 2009-10 figures.

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