Guwahati: Several representations and 'signed letters' from Assam have been sent to the Prime Minister and Health Minister supporting for stronger/new pictorial warnings to be implemented on all tobacco packs from April 1 next.
The representations and letters were from women's groups, youth associations, doctors, hospitals, self help groups, heads of educational institutions, voluntary organisations, a Voluntary Health Association of Assam (VHAA) press release said here Tuesday.
In Assam, people from different walks of life have signed the online petition which has already received nearly 16,000 signatures, the release said.
"More and more people through organisations, institutions and individually are involving themselves in the campaign. People are now becoming aware of the extreme hazards of tobacco consumption and they are showing their support for larger pictorial warnings by signing the petition and sending written representations to the Government of India", VHAA Executive Secretary Ruchira Neog said.
"The government cannot ignore the appeal of the people and will implement the new pictorial health warnings from April 1," said Neog.
The Central Government on October 15 last announced the new pictorial health warnings for tobacco products that has made India the global leader in pack warnings, the release said.
Beginning April 1, every tobacco product will carry on both sides pictorial depiction of throat and mouth cancer and a message in English, Hindi or any Indian language.
Meanwhile, a public awareness campaign "Lives Bachao Size Badhao (Save Lives, Increase the Size)" was launched in mid February last to support the move for a larger graphic health warning on tobacco products sold across India, the release said.
The top global rankings for package health warning size are Nepal, 90 per cent, India, Pakistan and Thailand 85 per cent, Australia 82.5 per cent, Sri Lanka and Uruguay 80 per cent, the release added.