New Delhi: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has notified new sets of specified health warnings for all tobacco product packs which should be implemented from September 01, 2018.
The move comes after making an amendment in the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Rules, 2008 vide GSR 331(E) dated 3rd April 2018 by Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Second Amendment Rules, 2018.
"The amended rules will be applicable with effect from 1st September 2018", the ministry said in a statement released Thursday.
The new set of specified health warnings issued by the ministry contain two images showing deadly impact on health of smokers. The two images also have a toll free number for counseling to quit smoking.
"One of the most important key features of the new set of specified health warnings will include telephone Quit-line number 'QUIT TODAY CALL 1800-11-2356'. This will help in creating awareness among tobacco users, and give them access to counseling services to effect behavior change", the ministry said.
"It is also likely to lead to an increase in demand for tobacco cessation. Further, now the same set of warning images shall be on both smoking and smokeless forms of tobacco products. The toll free Tobacco Quit-line Services [1800-11-2356] provides counseling and strategies for quitting tobacco use", it added.
As per the recent second round of Global Adult Tobacco Survey [GATS -2, 2016-17] conducted in the age group 15 years and above, 61.9% of current cigarette smokers, 53.8% of current bidi smokers and 46.2% of current smokeless tobacco users thought about quitting because of warning label on packets of cigarette, bidi and smokeless tobacco, the ministry said.
The said notification along with printable version of warnings is available on the Ministry’s website i.e. www.mohfw.gov.in. Printable versions of the new warnings in all regional languages shall also soon be made available on the ministry’s website.
"In view of the above, it is informed that before the new set of specified health warning come into force from 1st September, 2018, the existing specified health warnings on tobacco product packs shall be continued till 31st August, 2018, as per amendment made in the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Rules, 2008 vide GSR 283 (E) dated 26th March 2018", the ministry said.
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