The Tobacco Institute of India (TII) has reacted angrily to the national government’s decision to increase significantly the size of health warnings on tobacco packs, according to a story in the latest issue of the BBM Bommidala Group newsletter.
It is unhappy, also, because the tobacco industry was not consulted before the decision on the new warnings was made.
Under a recent gazette notification from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, from April 1 tobacco products will have to be sold in packs that include warnings occupying 85 percent of both the front and back faces – up from the current 40 percent. The graphic element of the warning will take up 60 percent of the surface and the written warning 25 percent. The graphic images will have to be rotated every 12 months.
“The proposed warnings are unreasonable, drastic, unwarranted and impractical to implement and enforce,” TII director, Syed M. Ahmed, said in a statement.
The existing health warnings were adequate to inform and caution consumers.
Even in countries such as the US, Japan and China the textural warnings were not disproportionately large, he added.