Tobacco products to have 85% pictorial warning on both sides
The tobacco products would have 85 percent pictorial warning on both sides of the packets from April 1. The Ministry of Health Government of India submitted an affidavit in Rajasthan High court on Thursday in which it said that the practice of 85 pictorial warming would start from April 01 across the country. Senior Counsel Rahul Joshi had filed a petition in Rajasthan HC on the issue.
In the affidavit the Ministry of health has said that all the companies selling tobacco products were asked to abolish old stocks till April 01, Informing about the decision Rahul Joshi said that Health ministry in its application before HC on August 06. 2015 had submitted that a parliamentary standing committee on subordinate laws is investigating Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA)- 2003 and is in the process of suggesting amendments from 2014 and this investigation is taking some time.
Prior to this, the Rajasthan HC had directed the health ministry to implement the provision of 85 percent pictorial warning on both sides of the product packings on July 03, 2015. In response to that order the government pleaded more time to implement the Court's order.
In its plea the Government said that distributors across the country have old stocks and printing of new warning could take time.
In the public interest the court stipulated that the order would be applicable from April 01, 2016 and asked the government to issue a notification in this regard.
At present the tobacco products being sold in the market are having 40 percent warning which is printed on one side of the product pack.
The country fares poorly on the issue of pictorial warnings as it figures on a dismal 136 rank out of 139 countries globally, Nepal has 90 percent pictorial warning while Thailand and Pakistan has 85 percent each.
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