New warning on tobacco products
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Health/ Social issue; Welfare issue
- Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has notified new sets of specified health warnings for all tobacco product packs by making an amendment to the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2008.
- All tobacco products manufactured or imported or packaged on or after 1st December, 2020 shall display new warning images and ensure that all tobacco product packages shall have the specified health warnings exactly as prescribed.
- Violation of the above-mentioned provision is a punishable offence with imprisonment or fine.
Important Value Additions:
- In India, tobacco is the cause of about one million deaths annually.
- India implemented larger 85% pictorial health warnings on all tobacco products from 1 April 2016. However, to remove the last bit of glamour and attraction from the tobacco packs, it must now embrace plain packaging.
- Plain packaging prevents tobacco packs from carrying the tobacco industry brand imagery as mobile billboards. Other than brand and product names displayed in a standard colour and font style, it prohibits the use of logos, colours, brand images or promotional information.
- India has taken several preparatory steps implemented by other countries like Australia and the UK that have introduced plain packaging, for example, stronger smoke-free laws, ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, increase in taxes and a report from civil society task force on plain packaging.
- The trade and investment agreements signed by India are also within the international trade norms relating to public health.