India - pictorial warning on cigarettes and tobacco products will be implemented from May 31 - no doubts about it..

May 7, 2009 - The India Supreme Court today recorded the undertaking of the central government that the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules, including the rules related to pictorial warning on cigarette and tobacco products, will be implemented from May 31,2009 and there will be no further extensions. The court further stated that in view of this promise, no court in the country shall pass any order inconsistent with this order.

The rules under the Act were framed in 2006 but amended in 2007 to be implemented from December 1, 2007. However, implementation was postponed to March 31, 2008 and again to November 2008.

India has signed and ratified the World Health Organisation-Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) which enlists key strategies for reduction in the demand and supply of tobacco products. Article 11 of the WHO-FCTC mandates that all countries that are parties to FCTC should display pictorial health warnings on tobacco product packs.

(The Government of India sometimes referred to as the Union Government, and also as Central Government.)

Reference: Supreme Court clears display of tobacco pictorial warnings, The Hindu, 5/7/2009; Cigarette packets to carry pictorial warning from May 31, Business Standard, 5/7/2009.

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