Even as the government is delaying the notification of new pictorial warnings on tobacco products, a health ministry official Monday, Arpil 4th said they have received feedback that the present pictorial warnings are unclear to people.
India makes critical decision on education that will help convince children not to use tobacco. The government on Thursday, April 1st brought into force a new law that makes education free and compulsory for every child from age 6 to 14—the latest government initiative aimed at harnessing the economic potential of its young population. About a third of India's 1.2 billion people are under the age of 14, one of the highest ratios in the world. (Joining hands in the interest of children, Kapil Sibal, The Hindu, 1/31/2010)
The present pictorial warnings on tobacco packs feature lungs X-ray, a cross section of lungs with related cancer, and a scorpion. 'Globally, pictorial warnings have proved to be deterrent to tobacco use,' he said.
When asked about the new pictorial warnings which were supposed to be enforced from December last year, the senior official said: 'New warnings will come, consultations are going on,' he said, without giving a time frame.
Desraju, however, said he was unaware of any pressure from tobacco lobbies behind the delay in the implementation of new pictorial warnings.
'Many of the buyers in urban areas understand the meaning of the symbols but they still buy. Ultimately, it's the people who will have to understand that it's bad for them,' he added.
A survey done by an anti-tobacco advocacy group last year said that only 20.6 percent of cigarette smokers, 15 percent of bidi smokers and 13.2 percent of smokeless tobacco users either read or looked at the warning labels.
More current news briefs on pictorial warnings on tobacco products:
December 24, 2010 - India - cigarette/bidis companies resume tobacco production..;
December 9, 2010 - India - will delay for a year the use of scarier pictorial warnings on cigarette and bidi packs..;
December 4, 2010 - India - cigarettes and bidis manufacturers halt production seek clarification on pictorial health warnings..
November 30 2010 - India - revised pictorial warnings on tobacco products will be implemented from December 1, 2010..
More previous news briefs on pictorial warnings:
*India - still confusion pictorial warnings on cigarette packs..;
*Mumbai, India - NGO activists want closure of hookah bars..;
*India - gutkha and bidi companies NOT pictorial warnings..;
*India - cigarette packs with pictorial warnings are here..; *ndia - NO graphic pictorial warnings yet..;
*India - Still no pictorial warnings on cigarette packs..;
*India - pictorial warning on cigarettes and tobacco products effective May 31, 2009..;
*India - pictorial warning on cigarettes and tobacco products will be implemented from May 31 - no doubts about it..;
*India - will pictorial or graphic health warnings be implemented from May 30, 2009..;
*India - placing pictorial warnings on tobacco products delayed again..
Reference: Present tobacco pictorial warnings unclear: Health ministry, thaindian.com, 4/4/2011.