New Delhi: Micro retailers selling cigarettes and other tobacco products on Tuesday demanded withdrawal of the government's order to increase the size of graphic warning to 85 per cent on packets.
"Micro tobacco retailers demand withdrawal of 85 per cent warning regulation. They are facing a huge threat to their livelihood because of close down of the production by tobacco products by its manufactures due to sudden enforcement of regulation to enlarge graphic health warnings," Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said in a statement.
In September last year, the Health Ministry had issued a notification for implementation of the cigarettes and other tobacco products (Packaging and Labeling) Amendment Rules, 2014, which came into force April 1 this year.
These amendments prescribe 85 per cent pictorial warnings on both sides of tobacco products, instead of 40 per cent as of now on one side.
"...More than 5 crore dependents on tobacco industry including small vendors, betel sellers, tea & cold drink vendors, and other people from lower strata whose livelihood is dependent upon selling of tobacco products as the tobacco manufacturers have stopped production since April 1 and these vendors are not getting supplies," CAIT National President B C Bhartia said at a conference held by Akhil Bhartiya Paan Vikreta Sangh.
"Rather than bringing regulations it is more important for the government to launch a mega consumer awareness campaign for discouraging use of tobacco and the CAIT will be happy to join hands with the government in any such initiative," the statement added.