India - placing pictorial warnings on tobacco products delayed again..

November 26, 2008 - The pictorial warnings on all tobacco products that were supposed to become mandatory from 30 November 2008 in India, were, again delayed - reportedly due to hectic lobbying by the industry allies and other entities like the beedi growers' association.

Pictorial warnings on tobacco products have been delayed, at least, seven times. Over past years there were consistent efforts to water down the implementation of the tobacco control policies in India. Studies indicate that large, graphic warnings on cigarette packages are an effective means of increasing health knowledge among smokers. Not only do warnings present new information to smokers, but they also provide constant reminders given their frequency of exposure: pack-a-day smokers are potentially exposed to the warnings more than 7,000 times a year.

Before going to the 3rd Conference of Parties (COP3) to the global tobacco treaty (Framework Convention on Tobacco Control), the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had revealed before the Central Information Commission that tobacco industry is putting "pressure" to relax the tobacco control policies (source: The Hindu, 14 November 2008).

Reference: Another Blow to Enforcement of Tobacco Control Policies in India by Bobby Ramakant, News Blaze, 11/26/2008; COP3 - Third session of the Conference of the Parties, WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), November 17-22, 2008.

Other related news briefs: India - Heavy Fines If You Smoke In Public Places..; More people in India die due to smoking bidis than all other forms of tobacco combined.. and WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2008...

Euromonitor: Tobacco in India..